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Between and Mortarboard


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30 Items in this Learning Collection
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Copyright
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Winter in Weehawken

Accession Number
1931.15

Title
Winter in Weehawken

Artist(s)
Henry Reuterdahl

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1907

Medium & Support
oil on canvas

Dimensions
40 3/16 in x 50 3/16 in (102.08 cm x 127.48 cm);55 in x 65 in (139.7 cm x 165.1 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Albert M. Todd

Label copy
Henry Reuterdahl uses a light-colored palette to capture the icy chill of a winter’s day in the city of Weehawken, New Jersey, situated across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Weehawken sits atop the Palisades, a line of steep, rocky cliffs that rise dramatically from the edge of the river. Painting in an impressionist style, Reuterdahl employs energized strokes of his brush and heavy impasto (a dense layering of paint) to create a sense of immediacy and to capture the heaps of snow that majestically coat the escarpment. Perhaps influenced by his surroundings growing up in Malmö, Sweden, Reuterdahl emphasizes the atmospheric effects of winter using cool tones and bestows a frozen quality upon the landscape with frost-kissed, skeletal trees. Yet this is not an idealized winter wonderland: city life encroaches upon nature. Snow-covered hills give way to bustling industrial complexes along the river and the skyline of Manhattan, New York City’s economic center glistens in the distance—an impressive silhouette against the overcast sky.

Subject matter
This landscape painting by Henry Reuterdahl portrays a winter scene of the city of Weehawken, New Jersey, which lies across the Hudson river from Manhattan. Reuterdahl has painted this view from a point on the cliffs that give the city its name. (In the Lenape indian language, "We-awk-en" means "rocks that look like rows of trees"). He shows the terrain of the snow-covered cliff in the foreground area and provides a view of Weehawken below, from the ice skating pond to the smokestacks of the factories along the river. In the far distance, can be seen the bluish skyline of New York city can be seen silhouetted against a cloudy winter sky.

Physical Description
This winter landscape scene is painted in light pastel colors including, white, blue, pink and gray. The artist has used vigorous brushstrokes and the paint has been applied thickly on the canvas. The scenery is not painted in detail but done in an impressionistic manner.
In the foreground, a snow-covered hill slopes downward from the upper right side of the composition to the lower left. There is one tall tree that frames the scene on the far right and several others clustered on the left. In the middleground area, seen through the branches of these trees, there are factories and buildings of a town. Also, there are figures ice skating on a pond, at the far left of the composition. In the far distance, seen over the edge of the slope, is the skyline of a city, the shapes of skyscrapers silhouetted against a cloudy sky.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
hills
house
modern and contemporary art
skylines
snow
snow (precipitation)
trees
winter

5 Related Resources

High School: Realism to Abstraction
(Part of: Docent Curricular Tours)
High School: Inspiration
(Part of: Docent Curricular Tours)
High School Tour Options
(Part of: Visit UMMA: Curricular Tour Descriptions for Teachers)
Regions of the United States
(Part of: Teaching United States History through Art )

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved