Sixteenth-century landscape painting has Lucas van Valckenborch to thank for the development of groundbreaking new picture types – the forest scene and, above all, the winter landscape. Whereas the latter had previously been conceivable only as part of a cycle of the four seasons, Van Valckenborch’s wintry views of Antwerp are pictorial inventions in their own right. Presumably commissioned by the Malpaerts – a local silk-dealing family – the Städel version is charming by virtue of its narrative details and especially its convincing representation of falling snow.
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