Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Snowy Winters

Snow has little to do with Winter in California, but it's a different story elsewhere - especially this year, it seems. I was in New York City recently and had the luck to be at Central Park, that picture perfect work of environmental art, when snow was coming down in fairy tale fashion. My circuit by the Park coincided with twilight, a moment of the day that is always magic in New York - something about how the changing light filters through the towering buildings and turns the sky a certain blue - so the effect was even more otherworldly. The softened light, the city contrasts of fluffy white against dark stone and bare branches, the muffled sound of passing feet on padded sidewalks, horses pulling carriages topped with new snow crowns - it all set New York City back in time, bringing to mind Edward Steichen's iconic 1904 image of a foggy twilight in Manhattan. London is experiencing an extraordinary amount of snow at the moment as well, recalling a famous 1842 work by Turner - Snow Storm - Steamboat Off a Harbor's Mouth. A period of snowy winters in France in the late 1800's is attested to by paintings by Monet and Gauguin, among others, and on the subject of snow, it's impossible to leave out Hiroshige, for he was a master of weather, no matter what sort - this is his Snow at Nihonbashi from 1837.


Unknown said...

This is a wonderful meditation on snow and winter. Thanks and keep these blogs coming.

Anonymous said...

this summer saw Versailles park with music
this winter with snow
what next, love?