Larger Type
Smaller Type

Search Collections

Bridges in Winter

1934 Nicola Victor Ziroli Born: Montenero, Italy 1908 Died: Urbana, Illinois 1970 oil on canvas 24 1/8 x 30 in. (61.2 x 76.3 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the U.S. Department of Labor 1964.1.88 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 38A

Luce Center Label

Bridges in Winter is an example of the urban scenes that were popular with artists working for New Deal art programs in the 1930s. The snow-covered bridge in the painting is similar to the series of bridges (including the Clark Street Bridge) that span the Chicago River, providing an essential link between the two halves of the city. The bridges can be raised easily to allow river traffic to pass through when needed. Chicago's bridges may have served as inspiration for the artist, as he spent a great deal of time there. In the foreground a crowd of people gather at one end of the bridge, with more people behind them in the distance. A newspaper boy waves his arm in the air as he hawks his newspapers. The stormy sky could be the customary chill gray of a Chicago winter, or it could allude to the troublesome times Americans faced during the Great Depression.


Architecture - bridge

Architecture - vehicle - streetcar

Cityscape - Illinois - Chicago

Cityscape - river - Chicago River

Cityscape - season - winter

Figure group

New Deal - Public Works of Art Project - Illinois


paint - oil

fabric - canvas

About Nicola Victor Ziroli

Born: Montenero, Italy 1908 Died: Urbana, Illinois 1970

More works in the collection by
Nicola Victor Ziroli

Blogs, Podcasts, and More