Winter wonderland and landscapes
Nostalgic scenes by Anton Pieck, Wilco Dragt’s minimalistic snow landscapes and Louis Apol: the king of winter scenery. Now that winter is drawing in, let’s discover the intriguing stories behind these atmospheric winter scenes.
Nostalgic winter scenes by Anton Pieck
Romantic scenes picturing snow fun, cake and brew stalls (referred to as ‘koek en zopie’), and traditional village views; Anton Pieck’s characteristic style has become iconic for the classic Dutch 19th century winter landscapes.
The artist rose to fame with his designs for the fairytale themed park ‘De Efteling’, but Pieck’s charming illustrations of Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ truly display his signature mannerisms but most of all, his love of winter.
However, in the age of modernization there was little appreciation for this fairytale kind of nostalgia. Nevertheless, Pieck persevered and was eventually recognized by a greater audience.
Nowadays, his skillful pieces have been neatly embedded within the art historical canon and are loved especially during the winter months.
Minimalistic winter landscapes inspired by a Japanese Island
The Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido is covered by a thick layer of snow for approximately 5 months of the year.
The vast emptiness can almost be perceived as a form of natural abstraction; hence why this spacious and serene environment inspired Wilco Dragt’s minimalistic black and white photography series.
Through capturing this tranquilized world, Dragt creates atmospheric winter landscapes that are grandiose in their simplicity.
Louis Apol's true love of winter
Just as Willem Maris was crowned king of the cows, and Anthony Mauve became known for his grey skies, Louis Apol accounted for the winter landscapes within The Hague School. He was indeed very successful, creating magical paintings through his adept use of white nuances and marvelous lighting effects.
Apol approached the Dutch winter theme in a slightly different manner compared to his precedents, such as Hendrick Avercamp. Instead of intimate and joyful ice skating scenes, Apol depicted the chilliness and emptiness of the winter landscape. He would embark on rigorous journeys in the open air to capture the snowy forests and frozen waters.
The brief window of daylight gave him just enough time to create some drawings and sketches, which would later be transformed into grand impressions of winter within his studio. In 1880 Apol received the opportunity of a lifetime, when he was asked to join an expedition to the North Pole, known as ‘Nova Zembla’, on the famous ship the ‘Willem Barentsz’.
The hundreds of drawings and studies that he made on this journey came to form the basis for several of his best oil paintings.
For more "winter landscapes please have look at the rest of our online collection!
Header Image: Louis Apol, A Winterlandscape with a Horse-drawn car