Paintings: A Winter's Mystery

anotherlayer

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Subtitle: "Depictions of winter do not arrive until the late 15th century"

I picked up on a very quick thought mentioned by LifeKreationz about winter. He was talking about how Conspiracy-R-Us did a great video on Waste Management and The Great Stink. Both guys talk about how these massive palaces had both no heating and no plumbing. So... where are the earliest pictures depicting winter?

Let's start at Wiki: Winter landscapes in Western art
The depiction of winter landscapes in Western art begins in the 15th century. Wintry and snowy landscapes are not seen in early European painting since most of the subjects were religious. Painters avoided landscapes in general for the same reason. The first depictions of snow began to occur in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Excellent, we have a starting date, too easy! We now know that it begins in the 15th century. And oh yeah, it also begins in the 15th and 16th centuries. Lol. Right off the bat, we're looking sketchy, like, first 3 sentences in.

Winter scenes were not painted because of religious reasons. Got it. Painters avoided landscapes for the reason. God hates landscapes. Got it.
During the Early Northern Renaissance and even more during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century, interest in landscape painting was increasing. The winter of 1564–1565 was said to be the longest and most severe for more than a hundred years – the beginning of a cold period in northern Europe now called the Little Ice Age. For the next 150 years, northern European winters were comparatively snowy and harsh. Crop failures, heavy snowfalls and advancing glaciers that consumed Alpine pastures and villages made the era a grim one for European peasants.
1564. The year William Shakespeare is born and Michelangelo dies. Cool year. Ice age is interesting. Mini-reset before we get to the more current reset. Explains those layers.

So, if you take a look at the Wiki link posted at the top, they show about 50 paintings. 2 of them are from the 16th century, the other 48 or so are from the 1800s.

Now let's look at The Emergence of the Winter Landscape from some dumb website. Here it states:
Pieter Bruegel’s familiar painting Hunters in the Snow is now commonly regarded as the first fully realised winter landscape. But this painting did not appear until comparatively late, in 1565, and this raises the question of why such a seemingly obvious subject for painting took so long to evolve.
So, let's be real. We're not talking about the 15th century at all, we're talking 16th, at best. And let's quickly end the moment with this article with this delight. You can read the rest yourself, if you dare:
Initially, this was probably due to European painters simply not recognising any natural scenery in their works, let alone climatic conditions.
Say what? That's enough of that. I'm getting dumber by the second here. I'm just gonna stop short here. Not sure if this might spurn any thoughts, but at worst I'll put together the winter painting collection below to simply enjoy. And seriously, there are no 15th century painting of winter and snow. It is 16th century, at best. Enjoy!

The Hunters in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1565
paintbreugel.jpg

Adoration of the Kings in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1567
paintingelder.jpg

Winter Landscape with a Windmill by Hendrick Avercamp, c.1615
patinavercamp.jpg

Winter Scene on a Frozen Canal by Hendrick Avercamp, 1620
Winter Scene on a Frozen Canal by Hendrick Avercamp, 1620.jpg

The Castle of Muiden in Winter by Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraten, 1658
The Castle of Muiden in Winter by Jan Abrahamsz Beerstraten, 1658.jpg

Dutch Snow Scene with Skaters by Jan Griffier, c.1695
Dutch Snow Scene with Skaters by Jan Griffier, c.1695.jpg

And that sums up the 16th century. It was apparently only snowing in the Dutch towns and every other idiot was too busy painting different versions of 'bloody' Jesus.
 
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Searching

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I distinctly remember Nik Research talking about pineapples being an export of Russia in the 1800's. He had gotten this info from an encyclopedia, I think. He was also talking about the huge Russian palaces and how they were built for a warm climate as it is near impossible to heat them.

They have been digging "fresh" wooly mammoths out of Syberia. Fresh enough that the dogs eat the meat.
During excavations, the carcass oozed a dark red liquid that may have been fresh mammoth blood.
Fresh Mammoth Carcass from Siberia Holds Many Secrets


I agree that cold weather is a new occurrence, but could it be the dates we are given for these paintings are a lie?... Oh, surely not. These people have an impeccable track record.
 
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anotherlayer

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I agree that cold weather is a new occurrence, but could it be the dates we are given for these paintings are a lie?
each and every one of them appear identical to mid-to-late 1800s folk art. We suddenly learned how to paint the outside world in the 16th century, then we learned nothing more for another 200 years.

Aivazovsky - Little Russia 1868
Aivazovsky - Little Russia 1868.jpg
 

whitewave

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I noticed that when we were looking at architecture of St. Petersburg, iirc. So many flat-topped roofs in an area that (now) has heavy snowfalls. Apparently, when the structures were built the weight of snow was not an issue.
 

UnusualBean

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Snowy winter scenes can be insanely beautiful. I really can't think of any reason why nobody would paint them. I mean, just look at this and tell me you wouldn't even be tempted!

winter_scene.jpg

Maps of the old world seem to only indicate roughly Greenland and northward as being properly cold, which makes me wonder if maybe "winter" for most of the world was more like light jacket weather.
 

Ice Nine

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Great topic, it would have never occured to me to look into this and it's a good one. So ok it never snowed anywhere for any artist to document until 1565, no wonder they didn't need central heating in those huge castles. This is so weird. So it does seem that the mini ice age was the first time a significant amount of snow fell, so much so that artists wanted to paint it? they sure must have built all those sleds and made ice skates in a mad rush.
Into the White
"Bruegel invented the snow scene, a unique achievement. All the other genres of painting - still life, portraiture, battles and histories, landscape - originate in antiquity. Depictions of snow originate with one man, and one terrible winter."
"Dutch artists took up Bruegel's new snow scene genre as winters deepened and hardened and the frosts that seemed novel in 1565 became routine (though still magical). "
Sound like they didn't even have any frost until 1565 ?
 

dreamtime

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Great topic.

Combining a couple of things:

79 A.D. no more: Pompeii got buried in 1631

Everyone naked on frescos, pinneapples, hedonistic culture - doesn't look like they fought harsh winters. Also no evidence for massive amounts of wood burned. Architecture is basically built on the premise of a warm climate. That always baffles archeologists and historians, but they get around this problem with assuming Rome "simply" burned the entire forests of Northern Italy with the help of an entire army of slaves doing nothing but putting wood into an oven all day.

Indications for a 'heavier' electric field in the past

Expanding earth, the sun, cosmology. The larger distance to the sun as the primary factor of changing climate and lower temperaturs. It's all connected: Earth expanding abruptly, cities petrified, cultures washed off the earth, poles freezing, oceans widening, etc.

400 year old Sahara Desert, or why people forgot everything they knew about Africa

Earth shaping event during the "Little Ice Age" around 1600-1700.

All in all I think some of the early winter paintings may be mis-attributed when it comes to time frames. In reality the event that made harsh winters first appear in human history may very well fall into the late 17th and early 18th Century, in line with all the catastrophic global changes.

Look at how the chimneys appear to have been added later, long after the building was created itself:

Dutch Snow Scene with Skaters by Jan Griffier, c.1695.jpg

There is no way the world depicted in Adoration of the Kings in the Snow by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1567 is the same world as the 1631 Pompeii. The former is the world that destroyed the latter.

There is no way of having a hedonistic Pompeii culture and running around without clothes when you are hit by a harsh winter every year. The harsh winters created the culture of what most people nowadays think of the Middle Ages: A harsh world based on working all day on the fields in summer, and sitting together in front of the fireplace in winter waiting for spring to appear. In reality this harsh world depicted by Pieter Bruegel really ended the Middle Ages, which was a prosperous time associated with the Reinassance paintings.

The real "Dark Ages" were after the first appearance of harsh winters, because culture had to reorganize completely. Lots of knowledge was lost, and it was this world that made the church possible, because people started to hope for the afterlife and an end to their misery. The catholic church only gained power after those climate changes. There are no churches in 1631 Pompeii. It also laid the foundation of the industrial society.
 
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anotherlayer

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I find the thematic difference between 15th and 16th century paintings very disturbing. It's like they they went from mythological content to more realistic one. Something is weird there.
The dogs in the 16th century look cold. They got all the wrong coats.

Also, in picture #3 (Winter Landscape with a Windmill by Hendrick Avercamp, c.1615), I'm pretty sure that's a hockey stick that dude is skating around with. Sign him up!
 
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ISeenItFirst

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I remember that they found a curling stone dated to 1511. A person in that oldest painting looks like he's got a hockey stick, others appear to have some kind of curling stones. The history of ice skating seems kinda suspicious to me, but they ("researchers") claim 4k years old. Best decent evidence I could find in a brief search put it's more around the same 1500s time frame.

Very interesting topic. Kinda fits into the whole 14-1600s cataclysm that took down the global order.

There definitely looks to be a lot of ice recreation going on in 1565. I don't think that means too much, I think people will find ways for recreation in even the worst circumstances.

As for the dogs, they have a pretty high body temp, so I dunno. A couple of them look like they have goat heads to me.

I feel like there has got to be some publicly available information that could make for strong evidence here. Maybe to do with the emergence and proliferation of colder weather flora and fauna.
Dont know. Maybe we still lack enough legitimate sources.
 

whitewave

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Article describing volcanic eruptions in the year 536 causing darkness, crop failure, famine lasting 18 months. Just as they begin to recover, another volcanic eruption. When they begin to recover from that the bubonic plague hits. Add 1000 (made up) years and that puts us at 1536. Claimed to be the worst cold spell in 2000 years.
 

whitewave

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PNW medieval quake.
Japanese quake history in the 16th century.
January 18, 1586 7.9 MK Tensho or Ise Bay earthquake. Some islands in Ise Bay reportedly disappeared[20][21]
With the flat-topped architecture of St. Petersburg, the lack of snow in paintings prior to the 16th century, the lack of heating source in all ancient buildings, is it possible the world climate was a temperate one with possibly only the polar caps containing ice/snow? The Piri Reis map showed Antarctica as being NOT covered in ice/snow. That was in the 16th century. Supposedly based on earlier maps but who knows if that's true and if so, how much earlier?
 

esgee1

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My understanding is that we've been slowly coming out of an ice age over the last several thousand years. Planet Earth has been slowly warming back up getting back to it's normal climate. Perhaps it's really the last (mini?) ice age of the 14th to 15th centuries that we're currently coming out of? Prior to that it was warmer, and we're just now getting back to that? Anyway, interesting to ponder on.
 

whitewave

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NASA predicts mini ice age in 2020. You're probably right but for most of our recorded history we've had regular mini ice ages. Seems like the temperate weather conditions are the anomaly/climate change and freezing weather is the norm. Before recorded history? Who knows.

KD mentioned 15th century paintings as being more of a mythological theme and 16th century ones being more realistic. Don't think I'd ever noticed that before. Off to look at 15th century paintings.
 

KorbenDallas

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I'm with @dreamtime on paintings being improperly dated. Something does not add up there. This is more indicative of the 18th century, in my opinion. We have those outfits they are wearing. May be they could help us out to verify a thing or two. Like I'm not sure the things are matching up for this 1615 painting.

Wearing some of those shoes on the ice would give them a frostbite in no time.

Winter Landscape with a Windmill by Hendrick Avercamp ca.1615
Hendrick_Avercamp_-_Winter_Landscape_on_the_River_Ijesel_(ca.1615).jpg

Here we have these D'Artagnan and Three Musketeers on the right, and some 19th-20th century gold prospector looking guy sitting on the left.

Hendrick_Avercamp_-_Winter_Landscape_on_the_River_Ijesel_(ca.1615)-clothing_3.jpg


Definitely the Hockey
Hendrick_Avercamp_-_Winter_Landscape_on_the_River_Ijesel_(ca.1615)_hockey.jpg

Funny fact: Most evidence of hockey-like games during the Middle Ages is found in legislation concerning sports and games. The Galway Statute enacted in Ireland in 1527 banned certain types of ball games, including games using "hooked" (written "hockie", similar to "hooky") sticks.

The painting above is obviously dutch, so this Irish prohibition would not pertain there. But it's just interesting to think why they would prohibit hockey, and what we could get out of it. When was this 1527.

Another thing is this sort of activity all together. Some of the above paintings show ice-skating. I just don't see Atos inviting Portos, and Aramis to their local ice arena.

Dartagnan-musketeers.jpg


Catch 22
What did winter military uniforms looked like in the 17th century and prior? They fought each other all the time. For example the US Revolutionary War lasted 1775–1783. So, US fought UK for eight years. What did soldiers wear during winter activities? This? If that's the case, they all would have died of hypothermia 5 days into the first winter.

us_civil_war.jpg

us_civil_war_2.jpg

 

Magnus

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I'm with @dreamtime
What did winter military uniforms looked like in the 17th century and prior? They fought each other all the time. For example the US Revolutionary War lasted 1775–1783. So, US fought UK for eight years. What did soldiers wear during winter activities? This? If that's the case, they all would have died of hypothermia 5 days into the first winter.

What would you expect soldiers and generals to be clothed in during winter during this epoch?

Here they are depicted with woolen caps, woolen scarves, leathern or woolen gloves, ling woolen capes, leather or wool knee high boots, and layers.

And we are shown wooden huts or "tents" in the bsckground so they werent sleeping in the elements. And they have fires burning.

Bubble jackets and ski pants

Absolutely fine attire by Northeast winter standards, imo.

Full disclosure: am a New England Yankee
 
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