Let it snow!

It snowed in the gallery today.

The building was designed to keep fish cold so I suppose such phenomenon should be expected.

While shivering in the office I started to think about paintings that feature snow and it struck me that I may have identified an intriguing subgenre. Why are there so few great paintings of snowy scenes? Perhaps snow is particularly difficult to paint. I’m not sure, I don’t have much snow painting experience.

In honour of todays snow I present five of my favourite paintings that feature snow.

1. Pieter Bruegel the Elder – “Hunters in the snow” 1565

This is my favourite snowy painting by my favourite painter. Find out more about Pieter Bruegel the Elder (not to be confused with his son Pieter Brueghel the Younger) here and more about the painting here.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

2. Sir Henry Raeburn – “Reverend Robert Walker (1755 – 1808) Skating on Duddingston Loch” C 1795

I’m not a fan of winter but this painting makes me wish I was. Even though the clouds are dark and foreboding the painting is the embodiment of good humour. An interesting article here.

Sir Henry Raeburn -

3. Peter Doig – “Blotter” 1993

Peter Doig is a great painter, and Blotter is a great painting. If you aren’t familiar with Peter Doig and his work this link is an interesting introduction. The painting won the 1993 John Moore’s Prize, Doig’s statement at the time read –

“The title refers to (amongst other things) the notion of one’s being absorbed into a place or landscape, and to the process through which the painting developed: soaking paint into the canvas.

The figure is deliberately shown looking down into the reflection; this is to suggest inward thought, rather than some sort of contemplation of the scene.”

Peter Doig

4. Caspar David Friedrich – “The Sea of Ice” 1823-24

This depressing (and no less amazing for that) painting by Caspar David Friedrich puts the Fishmarket’s flurry of snow into perspective. To find out more about Friedrich and “The Sea of Ice”click here.

Caspar David Friedrich -

5. Sean Landers – “Plankboy Hurt” 2009

Sean Landers is a hero of mine but I only recently stumbled across this painting. I find it desperately sad. Not in a Caspar David Friedrich way, but it does remind me of another of his paintings – “Winter Landscape”. More about “Plankboy Hurt” here, and an interesting article written by Sean Landers here.

Sean Landers -


2 responses to “Let it snow!

  1. There are plenty of snow paintings by Maine artists – it’s cold as all get out up there. Andrew Wyeth is probably the most famous. I like the flat landscapes of Neil Welliver.

    • I’ve not seen Neil Welliver’s work until now. I like his snow paintings but I prefer the light in his summer paintings. I get the impression that the brushwork doesn’t translate too well to a computer screen, so I’d be keen to see an original.
      If you know where I can see some in the UK let me know.

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