A winter landscape with figures skating and playing kolf on a frozen river at the edge of a town signed 'J Beertsraten' (lower right) oil on canvas 91 x 129.5cm (35 13/16 x 51in).
PROVENANCE: Acquired by the family in the early 20th century and thence by descent to the present owner.
Jan Abrahamsz. Beerstraten was the most successful of a family of painters. Both he and his eldest son, Abraham, specialised particularly in paintings of winter townscapes (as well as sea battles and southern sea ports). Jan Abrhamsz. may initially have been a pupil of Claes Claesz. Wou, a marine painter in the Flemish tradition. However, this artist's dark grey and pink tints along with his thin, delicate trees with the snow indicated by tiny crisp brushstrokes are believed to have reflected the influence of Jacob Ruisdael; while such treatment has also been seen as a revival of Flemish characteristics reminiscent of the circle of Jan Brueghel the Elder and Joos de Momper.