Human interest in art history

I was taken aback to learn the bittersweet background of this well-known image, The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, from  1565.

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The Deadly Truth behind Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s Idyllic Winter Landscapes is a fascinating explanation of this iconic image.

Thanks to Artsy for sharing.


  1. Yvonne, it is so interesting to learn the depth of an artist’s painting…who would have thought this painting captured an historic period of struggle for human beings…brilliant artist. Thank you!…Sandra

    Sent from Samsung tablet

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  2. Very interesting! I noticed the same sort of thing regarding the snow and the harsh climate when I was at the national Gallery recently, enjoying early paintings of Canada and the early settlers. It must have been so harsh! Snow scenes are indeed often very beautiful, despite the hardships that come with the winter. The Group of Seven and Clarence Gagnon, for instance capture the mood and the beauty so well. As artists and Canadian artists we have a unique relationship with winter, I think!

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    • Very interesting to observe all the details in a busy painting, read the complete article, then go back and review the painting…quite an education.


  3. Yes, the mini ice age must have been appalling for all but the rich. Imagine not having proper clothing or boots. On another note, I’ve always been bothered by the bird flying in the middle of this painting. It has an inordinately long tail. It just doesn’t seem right…


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