Around 100 copies prove the extraordinary popularity of this composition after Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It was presumed that the austere winter of 1564–65 could have been the catalyst for Bruegel’s two pictures dealing with the subject of a winter landscape. The bird-trap (to the right) and the skaters were both given a deeper proverbial or moralising meaning (a warning to be vigilant, the slipperiness of life’s course), though there is no convincing evidence for this. This copy is considered one of the oldest and best samples in existence.
39 x 57 cm
Framed: 52,2 cm x 69,5 cm x 6 cm
Bez. rechts unten: P. BRVEGH ...; sowie nicht mehr deutlich lesbar: 1601
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
Coll. Leopold Wilhelm
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