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Snow Is Rarely White

This painting by Wassily Kandinsky in 1909 embodies what many artists agree is the best part of painting snow. It isn’t white.

As a major blizzard socks the East Coast this weekend, we hear endless reports about the “white stuff.”

Snow IS beautiful. And we tend to think of it as brilliantly white.

But, what makes snow so beautiful that the white reflects so many colors.

Claude Monet 1897 Haystack in Giverny

The impressionists rejoiced in freedom to paint all of the colors they could see in the snow.

Observe the fun Monet with the snow fallen in a field. He painted virtually no white anywhere. There are pinks & oranges & blues & violets & golds. Yet, it is unmistakably snow.

Paul Gauguin 1890 Breton Village

We tend to think of Gauguin painting intense tropical colors,but look how much he enjoyed the yellows, greens violets, blues of snow.

Compare the colors Gauguin captured with Pieter Bruegel’s “Hunters in the Snow” in 1565. Bruegel chose not to dwell on the colors in the textures of the snow, albeit the foreground snow is a very different color from the distant snow.

Vincent Van Gogh

This is one of my favorite Van Gogh paintings. We tend to think of melting snow as dirty ugly stuff but a great artistic mind details beauty everywhere.

Has melting snow ever been depicted more beautifully? The riot of colors around and throughout the snow is quite magnificent.

Van Gogh loved to demonstrate beauty abounded - even in mud.

What a gorgeous mind!

Poets love snow, too.

Look at the photo and you note none of the snow is simply white. The only flat white is in the center around the quote.

Bundle up!

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