Andreas Schelfhout was one of the most important Dutch landscapists of the nineteenth century. He established his reputation primarily as a painter of winter subjects and showed a particular talent for depicting snow and ice scenes which often included figures skating. Schelfhout’s paintings are characterised by bright naturalistic colours and loose, atmospheric brushwork. Occasionally, Schelfhout also painted summer landscapes, seascapes and beach scenes.
Schelfhout was born in The Hague in 1787 and up until the age of twenty-four, he worked for his father who had a picture framing shop. He then became an apprentice of Joannes Breckenheymer (1772-1856). In 1815, Schelfhout exhibited a winter landscape that won considerable critical acclaim and marked the beginning of a long and successful career. He visited Paris in 1830 and was a member of the ‘Pulchri Studio’ in The Hague. Schelfhout also collaborated with other artists including Pieter Gerardus van Os, Joseph Moerenhout and Jacobus Eeckhout, who added the staffage to his landscapes. Schelfhout exhibited regularly in Amsterdam and The Hague, between 1817-1869 and at Haarlem in 1825.
Among his most important pupils were Charles Leickert, Nicholas Roosenboom and Willem Troost. He was also an important influence on Johan Barthold Jongkind, one of the major forerunners of the Impressionists.
The work of Andreas Schelfhout is represented in many museums including the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, the Gemeentemusum, The Hague, and the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam.