Shop art print and framed art Hunters in the snow by Pieter Brueghel the Elder

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Subjects : Landscape
Keywords : January, Painting, Renaissance, animal, bird, cold, colour, dog, entertainment, evening, fire, fox, hunter, hunting, ice, landscape, man, month, pond, relaxation, season, skating, snow, sport, tree, village, white, winter
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To fully enjoy «Hunters in the snow» by Pieter Brueghel the Elder, we recommend the medium size (60x84.3 cm) printed on hand stretched canvas, with the gilded mouldings - thin frame.
The artwork

Hunters in the snow

The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Brueghel the Elder: a winter masterpiece

Discover one of the most famous paintings by Flemish painter Pieter Brueghel the Elder, "Hunters in the Snow". This iconic work, depicting a typical Renaissance winter scene, transports us to the heart of a distant and bygone era.

Historical and artistic context

Done in 1565, this painting is one of a series of six depicting the seasons of the year. Although only five of them have survived to the present day, "Hunters in the Snow" remains the most emblematic of the series. It is currently preserved in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.

In the 16th century, Europe experienced a major climatic cooling, known as the "Little Ice Age". This had a strong influence on artists of the time, who began to depict more winter scenes in their works. Pieter Brueghel the Elder, for example, was inspired by this context to create this series on the seasons.

Description of the painting

"Hunters in the Snow" is an oil on wood, measuring 117 x 162 cm. It depicts a typical winter scene of the period, with hunters returning empty-handed from their hunting trip, accompanied by their dogs.

The composition

The painting is divided into several successive planes that give the scene remarkable depth. In the foreground, we see the three hunters and their dogs, trudging painfully through the deep snow. The second shot reveals a lively village, where various characters go about their daily business: skating on the frozen lake, chopping wood, preparing meals... Finally, the third shot reveals a mountainous landscape covered in a thick layer of snow.

The colours

Peter Brueghel the Elder's choice of colours contributes to the overall atmosphere of the painting. The dark tones of the hunters' clothes contrast with the whiteness of the snow and accentuate the feeling of cold that emanates from the scene. In contrast, the bright colours used for the houses, trees and elements of the landscape bring a certain dynamism and warmth to the whole.

Analysis of the work

There are several elements that make "Hunters in the Snow" a masterpiece of Flemish Renaissance painting.


Pieter Brueghel the Elder is renowned for his ability to accurately depict the details of everyday life in his time. In this painting, for example, he faithfully depicts the villagers' winter activities, such as chopping wood, preparing food or playing on the frozen lake.


The painting also bears witness to a humanism characteristic of the Renaissance. Indeed, Pieter Brueghel the Elder features characters from different social classes, uniting hunters and villagers around the same living environment. This choice illustrates the idea that all men are equal when faced with the challenges imposed by nature, particularly when it comes to surviving the bitter cold of winter.

The symbolism

Finally, "Hunters in the Snow" contains several symbolic elements that enrich the work. For example, the presence of crows in the treetops can be interpreted as a sign of bad omens for the hunters returning empty-handed. Similarly, the thick layer of snow covering the landscape evokes the harshness of winter and the strength of nature in the face of human beings.

Posterity and influence

"Hunters in the Snow" left its mark on art history and influenced many artists after Pieter Brueghel the Elder. These include:

  • The Flemish painters of the Dutch Golden Age, such as Hendrick Avercamp or Jacob van Ruisdael, who also depicted winter scenes in their works.
  • The French Impressionists of the 19th century, such as Claude Monet or Alfred Sisley, who were inspired by Brueghel's technique to capture the effects of light on snow.
  • Contemporary painters, notably the Belgian Luc Tuymans, who in 1994 produced a modern version of "Hunters in the Snow", entitled "Gandavum".

Thus, "Hunters in the Snow" by Pieter Brueghel the Elder continues to inspire artists and amaze art lovers, almost five centuries after its creation.


This artwork is a painting from the renaissance period. It belongs to the flemish & northern renaissance style.


« Hunters in the snow » is kept at Art History Museum, Vienna, Austria.


The artist

Pieter Brueghel the Elder

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