Same winter, different impression
Winters are remembered in different kind of ways. Some may remember the winter as splendid Christmas, while others remember them as cold and lonely season. Here are two photographs of winter. One is called "The Hunters in the Snow" by Pieter Bruegel le Vieux, which is one of the six series that depict different times of the year. The other is called "Nocturne grey and gold" by James Abbott Mcneill Whistler. Although both photographs depict the landscape which is covered with snow, two paintings show some differences in detail.
The painting depicts a winter scene in which hunters are returning to hometown from an expedition. On the left side are three hunters walking on the snow with some dogs following them. The hunters seem exhausted, and the dogs also appear worn and miserable. Behind them is a shabby inn with an outside fire. Several adults and a child prepare food in front of inn. In the distance, people freely ice skate, play hockey with sticks in a frozen lake. Although they are just seen as silhouettes, we can see that they are fully enjoying their winter.
One person is walking on snow-covered road. We cannot recognize whether a person is man or woman. There is no other person except that man. The background of the painting is dark and silent night. All of the objects are not seen clearly. Only some houses are seen in the distance with glimmering lights. The houses appear in a veil of light and in the absence of direct shape. This creates a feeling of fantasy. Nocturne means a musical composition that is inspired by the night. So the painting shows scenes evocative of the silent night.
In "The Hunters in the Snow," The overall visual impression is a calm, cold, overcast day. The colors are mostly whites and grays, with the trees being bare of leaves. However there is some kind of liveliness. On the vast backgrounds, diverse episodes and elements are depicted lively. We can see various aspects of winter lives. In "Nocturne grey and gold," the main feeling is loneliness and calmness. As the title says, most color of the paintings is grey and gold. The monotonous and blurry scene seems like a dream or fantasy rather than real scenery.
Two different kinds of winter are depicted in these two paintings. In one painting, we can see the realistic and detailed description of a country village. In the other painting, we can see unrealistic and simplified description. Although both of them are calm, one is more lifelike than the other. The two paintings show comparison between realism and fantasy. Although they depict same season, the overall image is somewhat different.