This winter landscape by Lodewijk Johannes Kleijn (Loosduinen 1817-1897 The Hague) shows us a beautiful winter scene with many figures skating on the ice and having fun. It is busy at the koek-and-zopie. Koek-en-zopie is a Dutch term that is used to denote the food and drink sold on the ice during periods of ice skating.
From the 17th century up to and including the 20th century, the fare would have been anything suitable for eating by hand, such as a pancake. For the thirsty, there was a semi-fluid zopie, consisted of a mixture of bock and home-made rum and other local ingredients. Later, koek-en-zopie stalls often sold warm drinks such as punch.
Until the 19th century, only shops selling alcoholic beverages on land or water were bound by law. As long as there was ice for the koek-en-zopie stalls to stand on, they enjoyed protection from regulations.
As a pupil of Andreas Schelfhout, L.J. Kleijn painted many winter landscapes with figures skating and sledging on reflective ice. His work is typical for the Dutch Romantic Movement. His landscapes were greatly appreciated even by international collectors. For example, the Russian Grand Duke Nikolai Michailovitsj acquired a river landscape by Lodewijk Johannes Kleijn.
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