Wijnandus Johannes Josephus Nuyen was born in The Hague in 1813 and started his artistic career at the age of 12 receiving his training from the famous romantic landscape painter Andreas Schelfhout. As a most illustrious ending to his studies at the 's-Gravenhaagsche Teken Academie - between 1825 and 1829 -, he was awarded in 1829 the gold medal by the Genootschap Felix Meritis in Amsterdam for his work 'Landschap met hoeve'. This first official success established Nuyen's reputation as an admired and respected landscape painter. Although Nuyen was often misunderstood by the critics, he was readily appreciated by his colleagues and he received many awards.
The confrontation with the work of the French romantic landscape painters as Théodore Gudin (1802-1880), Eugène Isabey (1803-1886) and Eugène Lepoittevin (1806-1870) - which he saw during his visit to Paris in 1833 with his friend Antonie Waldorp - was important to the development of his artistic career. He was inspired by their fantasised impressions of nature in which the emotional elaboration of the perceptibility of the artist was permitted. His voyage to Germany the same year, strengthened his resolve to change his typical Dutch romantic style in a more 'foreign' romanticism in which fantasy was allowed.
The present lot is a fine example of his mature style and was painted in 1837, two years before he died in 1839. It is exceptional as Nuyen painted relatively few winter scenes. It depicts a fisherman's house in winter, apparent in the depicted hanging boat, as already suggested in the catalogue of the property of Van Den Schrieck in 1861. Two figures are depicted in a boat on a sledge; a versatile means of transportation on a river, both in winter and summer. On the stairs leading up to the house a figure ascends with a jug, while another figure tends to the horse. This work demonstrates Nuyen's primary focus on the depiction of nature, in which daily life-aspects play an important role. The dramatically rich palette used and the strong contrasts in clair obscure are typical for Nuyen's oeuvre and strengthen the romantic character of this painting, in which the light parts play an as important role as the dark parts.