The Hunters in the Snow (1565) by Pieter Bruegel

The Hunters in the Snow - Pieter Bruegel - 1565

All Artwork Images

Artwork Information

TitleThe Hunters in the Snow
ArtistPieter Bruegel
MediumOil on Panel
Dimensions117 x 162 cm
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

About The Hunters in the Snow

“The Hunters in the Snow,” a celebrated work by Pieter Bruegel, dates back to the year 1565. This oil on panel masterpiece, measuring 117 by 162 centimeters, is a seminal piece of the Northern Renaissance. It stands as a genre painting within the artist’s greater series known as the “Twelve Months.” This artwork currently resides in the esteemed collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum located in Vienna, Austria.

The artwork provides a vivid depiction of a wintry landscape bustling with life and activity. Dominating the foreground are hunters returning from an excursion, accompanied by their dogs. Their presence adds a narrative quality to the scene, as their somewhat downtrodden demeanor suggests a lack of success in their hunt. In contrast to this somber group, the middle ground of the painting teems with villagers partaking in ice-skating and other games on a frozen river, emphasizing the communal and recreational aspects of life despite the harsh weather conditions.

The composition is structured in a way that leads the eye from the weary hunters in the front, across the busy landscape of human activity, and on toward the more serene and distant snow-covered mountains, evoking a sense of depth and expansiveness. The meticulous detail with which Bruegel has rendered the leafless trees, quaint cottages, and distant figures speaks to his keen observation of both nature and the interactions of people within it.

An overarching sense of tranquility interplays with the dynamic human elements, while Bruegel’s mastery of atmosphere with the backdrop’s crisp winter air and subdued palette of whites and earth tones further enhances the sensation of the season’s chill. This confluence of allegorical content, meticulous detail, and atmospheric effect combine to make “The Hunters in the Snow” a defining work of its era and a quintessential example of genre painting.

Other Artwork from Pieter Bruegel

More Northern Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top