The group of hunters returns to the low–lying village, accompanied by an exhausted pack of dogs. Only a single fox hangs on one of the spears slung over the men’s shoulders. To the left preparations are afoot to singe a pig over an open fire. Delightful details such as skaters on frozen ponds have added to the picture’s enormous popularity. Yet it is not the sum total of details that make the picture important, rather its overall effect. In a manner both virtuosic and consistent, Bruegel evokes the impression of permanent cold in this first and most prominent winterlandscape of european painting.
Overall: 116,5 cm × 162 cm × 2,4 cm
Framed: 134 cm × 180 cm × 11 cm
Inscribed in the bottom centre: BRVEGEL. M.D.LXV
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
Nicolaas Jongelinck; 1594 gift of the city of Antwerp to Archduke Ernst; 1595 estate of Archduke Ernst; Rudolf II; Coll. Leopold Wilhelm
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