'In the Wild North', 1891, Ivan Shishkin

The wildness of Winter – 6 snowy art scenes

Stormy snow drifts, shards of blue ice, changing landscapes dusted and draped in shimmering white.

These are just a few of my favourite things when I take in the views of a fresh Winter landscape! To spread the season joy and collective hope of a white Christmas, I have brought together 6 Winter scenes to get you in the festive mood.

1.

Road in the Village of Baldersbrønde (Winter Day)

by Laurits Anderson Ring

Road in the Village of Baldersbrønde (Winter Day)
‘Road in the Village of Baldersbrønde (Winter Day)’, 1912, Laurits Andersen Ring. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London.

Stark, minimalist and modern, Ring’s monochromatic winter scene is of the Zealand village in Denmark where he lived. It’s visibly brooding and Scandinavian-esque. Step into a bitter Nordic winter in Room 41 at the National Gallery, London.

2.

Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps

by J.M.W. Turner

Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps exhibited 1812 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851
‘Snow Storm: Hannibal and his Army Crossing the Alps’, exhibited 1812, Joseph Mallord William Turner. Oil on canvas. Tate Britain, London.

A fierce snow storm advances on Hannibal and his army in Turner’s epic painting. This menacing snow drift sweeps across the landscape highlighting nature’s unpredictable force and its wielding power over us.

3.

Winter Tunnel with Snow, March

by David Hockney

david-hockney-winter-tunnel-with-snow-march-2006
‘Winter Tunnel with Snow, March’, 2006, David Hockney. Oil on canvas. Copyright David Hockney.

Proof that colour can be found in the depths of Winter! Hockney repeated this rural scene at different times of the day, at different times of the year with his characteristic bold and vibrant colour palette.

4.

In the Wild North

by Ivan Shishkin

'In the Wild North', 1891, Ivan Shishkin
‘In the Wild North’, 1891, Ivan Shishkin. Oil on canvas. National Art Museum of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine.

To me, this painting is the epitome of Winter. The fluffy, glittering white snow in the wilderness of somewhere like Scandinavia or expansive Russia, where the snow never melts and nature is just frozen in time. Bliss. I’m half expecting the Ice Queen of Narnia to come shooting across the snow with her box of Turkish delight to tempt us.

5.

Winter Landscape

by Caspar David Friedrich

'Winter Landscape', 1811, Caspar David Friedrich. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London
‘Winter Landscape’, 1811, Caspar David Friedrich. Oil on canvas. The National Gallery, London

I couldn’t create a list of Winter scenes without including a bit of Friedrich. Full of religious symbolism, we see a desperate man abandoning his crutches and praying to the cross. The eeriness of the Gothic church emerging from the mist gives us hope in this desolate landscape. Make the treacherous journey to Room 45 in the National Gallery to see this painting.

6.

Ski Jacket

by Peter Doig

Ski Jacket 1994 by Peter Doig
‘Ski Jacket’, 1994, Peter Doig. Oil on canvas. Copyright of Peter Doig. Tate collection.

It’s like Doig had blended a Neapolitan ice cream and let it melt onto the canvas to create this beautiful, liquefied mountainous scene for us to enjoy. The pinks and golden yellows allow us to appreciate the unseen colours that can thaw and dribble out from under the snow.

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