Painters are fond of winter landscapes to reveal the myriad ways snow reflects and refracts light. And as J. M. W. Turner once said, “Light is therefore colour.”
This scene of fun and frolics in a snowy landscape was painted in 1852 by George Henry Durrie (1820-63) and is on display at the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Durrie produced around 300 paintings in the course of his career. The earliest of these works were portraits, but by the early 1850s Durrie had begun to focus on painting rural genre scenes and winter landscapes of New England.
In 1861 the printmaking firm Currier & Ives further popularized Durrie’s work through publishing two lithographs of his winter landscapes. During his lifetime, Durrie’s reputation was modest. After his death the Currier and Ives prints ensured his works were kept in the public eye.
Most of Durrie’s paintings remain in private collections, although important examples can be seen in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the New York Historical Society, and the Fine Arts Museum in Boston.