Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

In Avercamp’s drawings, the Dutch landscape serves as backdrop for scenes bustling with human activity. From the barefoot peasant fishing in the shallow waters to the woman washing clothes on the riverbank, this watercolor presents a catalogue of seasonal activities taking place along Holland’s busy waterways. Although the artist carefully crafted this world inside his studio, his eye for such seemingly anecdotal details as the baby sitting in an empty washtub (on the left side of the composition) gives the impression that this is a snapshot of daily life in the Dutch Republic. Acclaimed for his talent as a colorist, Avercamp saturated the image with subtle reds, greens, and blues. His depiction of water, which effectively exploits the white paper reserve with only a few added touches of watercolor, is particularly striking.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
Hendrick Barentsz. Avercamp, Dutch (Amsterdam, Netherlands 1585 - 1634 Kampen, Netherlands)
Landscape (near Ouderkerk?) with a Fisherman
Other Titles
Alternate Title: River Landscape by Ouderkerk
Work Type
Persistent Link
Level 3, Room 3600, University Research Gallery
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Physical Descriptions
Brown ink and watercolor over graphite on off-white antique laid paper, framing lines in brown and black ink
19.3 x 29.2 cm (7 5/8 x 11 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • inscription: Signed bottom center, in brown ink : HA [in ligature]
  • collector's mark: Verso, lower right, blue ink: M G A [in monogram] [Lugt 3306, mark of The Maida and George Abrams Collection]
  • inscription: Verso, lower left, brown ink: Ouwerkerk/1622.
  • inscription: Verso, lower left, in gray ink: Hendrick van Averkamp gebijnaamd de Stomme van Kampen f.1630.
  • inscription: Verso, center left, black ink: 100013
  • inscription: Verso, lower right: [in red chalk]: 756 / [in graphite]: 778
  • watermark: center of sheet: eagle with Basel crozier
  • inscription: verso, center right, graphite: 12
Simon Fokke, Amsterdam; sale, Amsterdam, December 6, 1785, lot 195; Dirk Versteegh, Amsterdam; sale, Amsterdam, November 3, 1823 (Kunstboek 3 F, no. 4), to De Vries. Eduard Cichorius, Dresden. Oskar Huldschinksky, Berlin. Sale, Berlin, Paul Graupe, November 3, 1931, lot 3. Private collection, United Kingdom; acquired by Maida and George Abrams, Boston, 1999.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Maida and George Abrams Collection, Boston, Long Term Loan
Object Number
European and American Art
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Publication History

William W. Robinson, Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, exh. cat., Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2002), cat. no. 8, repr.

Exhibition History

Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish Drawings from the Maida and George Abrams Collection, British Museum, London, 06/13/2002 - 09/22/2002; Institut Néerlandais, Paris, 10/10/2002 - 12/08/2002; Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 03/22/2003 - 07/06/2003

The Art of Drawing in the Early Dutch Golden Age, 1590–1630: Selected Works from the Abrams Collection, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 09/09/2017 - 01/14/2018

Crossroads: Drawing the Dutch Landscape, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 05/21/2022 - 08/14/2022

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