Hunters in the Snow is a classic oil painting from Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder which featured the stunning landscape of Northern Europe during the 16th century.
It is amongst his finest works and features the style typical of his career with complex landscapes combined with portrait figures involving in a variety of activities. Hunters in the Snow is also known by many as Return of the Hunters but both names refer to the same Pieter Bruegel the Elder painting. Check out Bruegel paintings here. We include images of it below along with much more detail on the work itself plus discussion of the career of this artist and others from his family. Each image of the original painting is accompanied by links to where you can buy your own copy of Hunters in the Snow.
The painting features Pieter's selection of characters going about their daily lives and this painter was well known for covering the poorer elements of society which he found interesting and well worthy of inclusion within his paintings whilst most others at this time would prefer to only concentrate on the richer elements of society who offered their own works an immediate glamour and prestige which better suited their own style. Bruegel continued this tendency for depicting the poorer elements of Dutch society with Peasant's Wedding and many more. This unique approach is more appreciated today than perhaps it was then, but he still achieved success within his own lifetime. Hunters in the Snow can be seen above in all it's glory. The Bruegel family became a dynasty of artistic masters thanks to the achievements first of Pieter the Elder which then was continued on by his son the younger, plus Jan the younger and elder too.
They themselves produced careers of note but it was Pieter the Elder who held the most genuine talent and originality with the others combining their own skills with the opportunities brought about by the success of their older relative. Many have claimed that Pieter the Younger even supplemented his income from the original works that he created by doing additional copies of his father's work that continued to sell well after his death.The careers from the Bruegel dynasty may have long since passed by but their paintings are still much loved right across the world, making key focal points in major art galleries and museums within Europe and North America. For the biggest fans of their work, it is also possible to buy reproductions of original Bruegel paintings as framed or unframed art prints, posters and stretched canvases.
All the links in this website are accompanied by links from where you can order your own from the huge Bruegel gallery which covers all members of this famous family. Hunters in the Snow Bruegel is a great choice for your home, and benefits from the exceptional detail that the artist added into it with characters all across the landscape scene which leads us to assume that this work must have been in development for many months in order for the painter to accurately capture so many different people and still have a painting which would hold well together. Bruegel landscape scenes are an exciting combination of the normal beauty found within well crafted countryside scenes, but with the added advantage of increased interest from the active characters which are strewn across it when most other artists would not add people at all.
The Bruegel family were a significant part of the rise of Dutch art around this time and the success was to last for several centuries, with the collection of artists generally refered to as the Dutch Golden Age being the most significant moment of all. Painters like Vermeer helped to progress onwards from the achievements of the Bruegels to establish the area around the Netherlands as a major force within the international arts scene. In recent years there have been some impressive Dutch contemporary artists but that period still remains it's most consistent and impressive of all, developing a great number of painters all at the same time. For those looking to add a copy of Return of the Hunters to their own bedroom or office wall, we would always recommend good quality giclee art prints as they offer the most accurate reproduction of colour from the original and also often are as sharp as possible.
It is also possible to find high quality images of the painting online from image searching tools and these can then easily be saved and used as desktop background wallpapers on your computer. Posters are a cheaper option but tend to suit abstract and other contemporary styles of art better. Fans of Hunters in the Snow / Return of the Hunters should certainly take the time to check out the rest of the career of Pieter Bruegel the Elder as well as the rest of this family dynasty who have a considerable amount of art amassed over several generations. Many of Pieter's other classic paintings followed a similar style to that used here, with working class people going about their daily routines to make ends meet, and normally whilst within an impressive expanse of scenery which was always likely to lift each painting visually.
The Bruegels left an important mark on the European art scene thanks to their concentration on the lower end of society which showed success could be achieved even when ignoring the large commission paying noblemen to focus more on artistic challenges that inspired the artist. This great integrity is linked closest to Pieter the Elder whose career is seen as the true high point from the whole family, and it is fair to say that Hunters in the Snow was one of his finest contributions of all. Pieter Bruegel achieved so much within his career that it is truly a pleasure to write several short websites about his work and help to keep his name and reputation to remain strong in the coming years which is entirely merited after creating so many innovative and technically skilled oil paintings.
Tom Gurney in an art history expert. He received a BSc (Hons) degree from Salford University, UK, and has also studied famous artists and art movements for over 20 years. Tom has also published a number of books related to art history and continues to contribute to a number of different art websites. You can read more on Tom Gurney here.