The oldest skating art (again)

The dates of the Hieronymus Bosch paintings in my previous post aren’t quite clear—there’s a range of 10–20 years for each. I found it interesting that the early ends of these ranges are actually earlier than the woodcut of St. Lydwina’s accident, which often gets the credit for being “[t]he first depiction of ice skating in a work of art.” That woodcut was published in Johannes Brugman’s Vita alme virginis liidwine in 1498. Hieronymus Bosch’s paintings could have been slightly earlier!

The famous woodcut of St. Lydwina’s fall. Courtesy Wikimedia commons.

But it doesn’t matter which of these images is the oldest by a year or two, because there’s another image that beats them all. The drawing below is part of a manuscript produced in Ghent about 1320. And now the license has changed so I can reproduce it here!

Drawing from Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Douce 5. Courtesy of the Bodleian Library, under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license. I cropped it for this post.

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