An almost identical, signed composition with nearly the same measurements, is in the Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht (oil on panel, 68.8 x 90.7 cm, signed lower left, inv/no. DM 896/359). First hand inspection of the paintings side by side in june 2013 by Sander Paarlberg and Charles Dumas, has led them to believe that the present work is a second version of the Dordrecht picture. It has either been executed by Van Strij himself or by an artist in his studio. Van Strij is known to have painted a few other versions himself of his own compositions, for instance two almost identical compositions of De Postiljon, one on panel in a private collection and the other on canvas in The Museum for Communication, The Hague (inv/no. 18384).
Winter scenes are a rarity in the oeuvre of Jacob van Strij. According to the early 19th Century biographer J. Immerzeel, Jacob van Strij approached his winter scenes with real diligence and devotion: 'His passion and concern for the accurate imitation of the nature went so far that Van Strij, however ill he was (for years Van Strij was plagued with gout) he had someone pull his sled along the ice in the biting cold in order to make sketches for his paintings, which he then executed in his studio'. Van Strij used these sketches for various paintings and the group to the left, with the sled dog, is encountered in a number of variations in drawings by Van Strij.
We are grateful to Sander Paarlberg of the Dordrecht Museum and Charles Dumas of the RKD, The Hague, for their help.