Winter Landscapes for the Holidays

24 Dec

Alfred Sisley,  A Village Street in Winter (1893)

Note: click on any image to enlarge.

To celebrate the holiday season I’m posting some of my favorite winter landscapes.  Alfred Sisley, one of the great original Impressionist painters, was particularly adept at depicting winter, and A Village Street in Winter (above) does not disappoint.  George Bellows had a real eye for blue — something I’ve tried to emulate in my own work — and we see this in full flower in Blue Snow, The Battery (below top).  Bellows renders a beautiful blend of cool and warm tones in Morning Snow, Hudson River (below bottom).  It’s hard to believe that the painter of so many beautiful but savage paintings of the boxing ring could render works as calm and tranquil as these two, but Bellows does just that.

George Bellows, Blue Snow, The Battery (1910)

George Bellows, Morning Snow, Hudson River (1910)

Owen Merton (father of famous Trappist monk Thomas Merton) painted Snow Scene, Long Island (below top), channeling the design simplicity of Cezanne in watercolor.  Winslow Homer’s well known The Fox Hunt (below bottom) mixes cool and warm tones to show us a fox in full flight in the snow.  Lots of great movement in this one — you can almost hear the hounds baying as the fox flushes a pair of black birds.

Owen Merton, Snow Scene, Long Island (1919)

Winslow Homer, The Fox Hunt (1893)

I’ve always been a big fan of Indiana impressionist T.C. Steele.  That’s my native landscape you’re looking at in Early Snow in the Hills (below top).  Steele splashes bright reds and yellows on top of blues, purples and whites to achieve a ravishing effect.  Robert Henri’s Snow in New York (below bottom) is one of his most famous works.  A founding member of the Ashcan School, Henri was dedicated to gritty, no-holds-barred realism.  Yet he could find beauty anywhere.

T.C. Steele, Early Snow in the Hills (date unknown)

Robert Henri, Snow in New York (1902)

If you’ve followed this blog at all you know what a fan I am of Canadian landscape painter Tom Thomson, who captured the rugged Canadian landscape in the opening decades of the 20th Century.  Thomson was a true backwoods plein air painter and all his works have a raw vitality that’s easy to love but hard to replicate.  Trust me — I’ve tried!  Thomson was influenced by Cezanne and Van Gogh and by the Arts and Crafts movement.  Winter Morning (below) is a gem.  Happy Holidays!

Tom Thomson, Winter Morning (1915)


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