Love it or hate it, snow is a classic hallmark of winter. Whether a smattering of fluffy flakes or a full-on blizzard, snow has long been a favorite motif for artists; either for its symbolism, evoking themes of solitude and silence, or for its compositional qualities, offering a wintry scrim through which to view the world. Where paintings like N.C. Wyeth’s (1934–36) engage with a specific event, portraying General George Washington’s brave encampment in frigid hues, other works take a more contemporary, humorous approach to snowy scenes.
As we approach the midpoint of winter, we’ve gathered six artworks from the Artnet Gallery Network that highlight the artistic diversity of snow. And, as always, you too can browse and discover season-inspired art on your own through the Artnet Gallery Network, which has thousands of artists and galleries that can easily be accessed with just one click.
Weaving together themes of nature and the manmade world in his work, Japanese artist Manabu Ikeda (b. 1973) is able to create extremely detailed drawings and prints of everyday vignettes that take on the air of the sublime. His monochromatic works on paper—such as this intaglio print of a hushed suburban street—play with the relationship between the micro and the macro, which invite viewers to spend prolonged periods looking, and to immerse themselves in his artistic world.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Rafael Desoto (1904–92) initially worked at an advertising company before starting to draw interior story illustrations for pulp magazine in 1930. Soon, he was working regularly as a freelance pulp cover artist and was published widely. The gouache on board (1945) epitomizes his and the genre’s frank and narrative style—and renders the usually lighthearted depiction of snow decidedly macabre.
Scottish photographer David Yarrow (b. 1966) first rose to prominence with his iconic image of footballer Diego Maradona holding the 1986 FIFA World Cup, which he took when he was only 20 years old. Yarrow has continued to work as a highly respected sports photographer—including covering the 1988 Winter Olympics—as well as expanding his practice to include photographing the natural world. His nature images are recognized for their unique perspectives and compositional nuance.
Brooklyn-based artist Aaron Cobbett started his career in the 1980s as a window dresser at New York’s famed Bergdorf Goodman department store. Simultaneously participating in the vibrant East Village drag scene, this confluence of experiences—also within the context of the AIDS crisis—informed and shaped Cobbett’s artistic practice. Working across textile, video, installation, and photography, his color-saturated, high-concept portraits have become a cornerstone of New York queer visual culture.
Exploring themes around his longstanding disability, which requires the use of a wheelchair, British artist Ryan Gander (b. 1976) creates artistic interpretations of the challenges he faces in his personal life. His ongoing research into the myriad ways he must navigate the world is reflected in the wide range of mediums he employs and approaches he takes—such as labyrinth-like installation pieces that viewers must gingerly traverse. Conceptual at its core, Gander’s work often evokes a degree of playfulness and levity through his choice of medium and composition, which is juxtaposed by more solemn abstract themes.
The practice of self-taught artist Michael Fratrich (b. 1983) centers on depicting rural and vintage American landscapes and scenes. His signature style evokes traditional folk and colonial painting styles, and his work engages with an “underlying American spirit.” Largely inspired by the rural countryside of Vermont, where he currently lives and works, the snowy scene in the cozy embodies the picturesque beauty of fresh fallen snow.