A Scene on the Ice with Skaters and Wagons

Pieter Molijn1655

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

In the 1620s Pieter Molijn pioneered one of the innovations in Dutch landscape art by organizing a composition on a diagonal. Thirty years later, he used this device to animate a procession crossing the lake in this drawing. The diagonal not only leads the eye into depth but also unifies the composition from left to right. To add variety and interest, Molijn intersected the line in the middle with a sleigh going its own way.

Using Holland's low horizon line and barren winter landscape and a relatively small number of figures, Molijn created an intimate picture that suggests the isolation of figures in nature and the hard work demanded by surviving the cold winters.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: A Scene on the Ice with Skaters and Wagons
  • Creator: Pieter Molijn
  • Date: 1655
  • Physical Dimensions: 14.9 x 19.4 cm (5 7/8 x 7 5/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black chalk with gray wash
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Signature: At top right corner, signed and dated "P /. Molÿn /. 1665." in black chalk.
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 84.GB.809
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Dutch
  • Classification: Drawings