The natural adversaries of plein–air water–colour painters are rain, frost, acquaintances or old friends pausing to pass the time of day, and hobby painters dispensing good advice. The latter were amicably, but pointedly made aware of his profession by Christian Modersohn. Despite weather forecasts, the barometer or well–meaning warnings, sudden showers can still, however, occasionally ruin the most promising of paintings. Consequently – as on the bitterly cold afternoon this painting was created – Christian Modersohn preferred the warmth of his studio, which offered him the perfect view onto his beloved and frequently featured row of trees bounding his extensive grounds to the north, to execute one of his rare studio works.The northern tributary of the Wümme has burst its banks, allowing the water to overflow into the lower lying reaches of the meadow and inundate the blanket of snow. By the next day, the field has been transformed into a glittering ice rink, a paradise for outdoor ice–skaters. Until well into advanced age, Modersohn could often be seen riding through the locality on his trusty "Hollander" bicycle.
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