Winter Scene in Holland, by George Boughton (1834-1905). Not dated. Oil on canvas. H 41 x W 60.6 cm. Fitzwilliam Museum. Accession number 637, acquisition method: a gift from H. J. Pfungst, 1906. Kindly made available by the gallery via Art UK on the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives licence (CC BY-NC-ND). Commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee.

This painting brings to mind two of Cosmo Monkhouse's remarks: first, that we enjoy finding in such work "sympathy with the out-door lives of ordinary persons, in states of society different from our own"; and secondly, "that, in Boughton's compositions, figures are no more subordinate to the landscape than landscape to figures; both are of equal importance" (561). Here, the sun has penetrated the overcast sky, and gleams on the flat snowy land. Wrapped up against the chill, people are walking, children are playing snowballs, a young lad is out running with his dog, and so on. The colours here may seem muted, but the rising sun, with just a hint of the sunrise across the water, illuminates a scene full of cheerful, active life.


Boughton, George Henry. Sketching Rambles in Holland. London: Macmillan, 1885. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Getty Research Institute. Web. 30 December 2021.

Monkhouse, Cosmo. "Some English Artists and Their Studios." The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. Vol. XXIV. Century Company, 1882: 553-68. Internet Archive. Web. 30 December 2021.

Created 2 January 2022