“Snowy Night, Korea” by Paul Jacoulet, woodblock print, Japan, 1939. Akasaka Collection
This past week, much of the country has been in the frigid grips of the polar vortex, a blast of Arctic air that has brought us glacial temperatures, bitter winds, and some mesmerizing snowscapes. Here, we’ve gathered some of The Manhattan Art & Antique Center’s most striking scenes of a frozen world in all its wonder, beauty, and danger.
“Otsu” by Sekino, woodblock print, Japan, 1966. Akasaka Collection
Unparalleled in capturing the spellbound mystery of winter, Japanese winter woodblock prints often convey the deep tranquility of a first snowfall. The Akasaka Collection (Gallery #14) has a wonderful collection of these prints that you can see here. Above, contemporary artist Sekino depicts a historic monument nestled in the heart of the city of Otsu, at the base of the majestic mountains overlooking Japan’s largest lake.
Oil on board of horses pulling a sled in a snow covered landscape, Polish, signed c.1880. F&P Associates.
Depicting the darker side of the season, this arresting 19th century Polish painting captures a moment of peril in a wintery land. The man, horse and even the wolves wear expressions of surprised fear at this chance encounter in the dark woods, the gray light and the snow-laden trees contributing to the scene’s ominous mood.
JOHANN BERTHELSEN (AMERICAN, 1883-1972) “NEW YORK IN WINTER” oil on canvas on board signed “Johann Berthelsen” (lower right) F&P Associates
An intimately familiar scene to those of us who struggled through winter storm Hercules last weekend, American Impressionist Johann Berthelsen paints bygone New Yorkers battling a winter storm past. Seen through the painter’s characteristically poetic gaze, the urban scene is given a romantic tone belied by the huddled figures buffeted by wind.
Russian lacquer hand painted artist signed boxes, laquered wood, Russia. Intertrus Gallery
These hand-painted Russian winter scenes: a bleak winter’s day, an urgent sleigh ride through the snow, and a fanciful sleigh ride through the stars, capture a few of the many moods inspired by this most mercurial season, from dread to awe.