Snow in the Foothills

Media - 1929.6.76 - SAAM-1929.6.76_2 - 135099
Copied Willard L. Metcalf, Snow in the Foothills, ca. 1920-1925, oil on canvas, 29 3833 18 in. (74.584.1 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of John Gellatly, 1929.6.76
Free to use

Artwork Details

Snow in the Foothills
ca. 1920-1925
Not on view
29 3833 18 in. (74.584.1 cm.)
lower right in oil: W.L.METCALF. frame verso upper left and lower right in acrylic: 29.6.76
Credit Line
Gift of John Gellatly
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Landscape
  • Landscape — tree
  • Landscape — river
  • Landscape — mountain
  • Landscape — season — winter
  • Landscape — weather — snow
Object Number

Artwork Description

Willard Metcalf captured the New England countryside as it thaws to make way for spring. Dabs of brown and ocher suggest muddy grass emerging from the snow cover, and quick strokes of aqua animate the sky, evoking winter's chill, even on a promising day. To capture such moments, Metcalf pulled his painting equipment behind him on a sled, braving the New England winter to study the magical, fleeting qualities of the season. In 1903 the art critic Sadakichi Hartmann described winter as "the most intellectual of all seasons . . . it is the time of the fullest and the freest flow of thought and bright ideas." But in Snow in the Foothills, Metcalf was clearly inspired by the moment when the long dark season unmistakably gives way to the time to be outdoors.