BRUEGEL, Pieter the Elder
(b. ca. 1525, Brogel, d. 1569, Brussel)
Gloomy Day (detail)1565
Oil on panel
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The mountains in the background demonstrate the threatening proximity of cold and snow; a further source of threat can be seen in the storm whipping up the waves and causing ships to sink. The Netherlanders were a seafaring people; they knew how dangerous the winter months are at sea. Water, mountains and the near intimacy of the foreground are held together by the picture's particular coloration.