Let it Snow…Let it Snow…but not quite yet! Snow in Art (Bruegel)

Cher’s Famous Art

20 October 2020

Revised 09 January 2023



“Hunters in the Snow”

Bruegel the Elder, 1565, Flemish, N. European Renaissance.  

Traveler Tip: The “Kuntz” art museum

Snow in January (2023)

As I look out my window to the wonderland of a fresh, white January snowfall, I am reminded of its beauty as well as its perils. Our recent flight from a vacation in the balmy southern USA was delayed three times due to inability to land in our local airport! As I wander through the bleak, white landscape, this painting always comes to mind!

Snow in October (2020)

Minnesota just had our first snow of the season!  That is always a big event–but NOT in October! We had the Great Halloween Snowstorm in 1991 from which Legends have been created…but never as early as October 20th! November/December is more typical. Of course, this is 2020, and all bets are off on which and when records will be broken!

Famous Painting of Snow

So yes, here is a famous painting of SNOW! In fact, “Hunters in the Snow” is claimed by critics to be the most famous snow painting.

“Hunters in the Snow” by Bruegel the Elder

Bruegel, the Artist

The artist is Bruegel the Elder (noting that there was also a “Bruegel the Younger”). He was Flemish, meaning , he was from Flanders, the northern European area now known as Germany, France, Belgium, etc.–so they knew a thing or two about snow! This painting was done in oil paint on board (painting on canvas was not used yet, and was more expensive).

Brrrr…this makes me cold…

Looking at this painting always makes me feel chilled to the bone, as if I was living in, and experiencing the wintry scene of the painting for myself—and maybe that is one of the things that make it great.  It may also be why it is one of my least favorite works of art. Brrrrrr. I dislike feeling cold, and that is exactly how I’ve been feeling the past couple of days since winter hit Minnesota with a frigid blast of cold and snow.

The “Kuntz”

I had the chance to see this painting in person at the “Kuntz” “Koonst” (short for the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria). In person, this painting still made me feel “COLD!”  (Bruegel’s point, I’m sure! If so, he was successful!)

It is quite large (46” x 63 ¾”) and does have artistic merits!  Bruegel utilizes the elements of design to draw the viewer in, going diagonally into the landscape with his mastery of line, shape, value, composition and perspective.  

Traveler Tip: The Kuntz has some phenomenal works of art and worth several hours of your time when in Vienna, Austria!  Whenever travel opens up again, of course!  Other highlights include Bruegel’s “The Peasant Wedding,” Arcimbolo’s “Summer” (fruit face!), and Vermeer’s “Artist in his Studio” as well as several by other significant artists such as Durer, Rembrandt, Rubens, Caravaggio, Altdorfer, Bosch, Titian, and Raphael. https://www.khm.at/en/

“Geraniums in the Snow” in Minnesota. P.C. Cher B 20 Oct 2020

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