Dated by Schulz to circa 1642, this is amongst the earliest of van de Neer's winter landscapes, exceptional for its colourful tonal range and atmospheric rendering of a bright winter's day. The artist was already in his thirties when he began to include winter scenes in his repertoire, no doubt in response to the growing popularity of the theme and to compete with the increasing number of artists who addressed it. Perhaps more than any other winter landscape in his oeuvre, this picture reveals the extent of van de Neer's debt to Hendrick Avercamp, whose output from the first decades of the century had come to define the genre in the northern Netherlands. The adoption of a raised viewpoint, from which the composition is arranged using tall trees as repoussoirs and buildings on either side of the ice that taper into the distance, are typical devices found in Avercamp's work. However, van de Neer chose a considerably lower horizon, giving greater emphasis to the atmospheric rendering of a bright blustery sky. It is above all the artist's bold use of colour that recalls most clearly Avercamp's style: the accents of red, blue and yellow in the depiction of the figures, the slightly pink rendering of the buildings and the lumionous blue sky. In this respect, the present work stands apart from the rest of van der Neer's later winter scenes that adopt an increasingly limited, earthen palette in keeping with the monochrome tradition.