Maurice Galbraith Cullen (1866-1934) studied sculpture at the National Monument in Montreal and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy and a lecturer at the Art Association school in Montreal. As a Canadian artist, he was fascinated by the winter landscape, which often appeared in his work, but the Barbizon and Impressionists had a great influence on his painting style.
Description of the painting:
A river, frozen and covered with snow, has immobilized the boats that are crowded together, as if for mutual comfort, patiently awaiting thaw. The ship’s crew have also become hostages of the frost. Delicate smoke rising from the boats and footprints in the snow covering the ice indicate the presence of the temporary inhabitants of the ships. Around the river, apart from the snow-covered house, only bare winter trees and nearby hills are visible, sketched out by the artist.
The painting conveys a dense atmosphere of stillness and cold emanating from the matte white, blues and grays. The artist focuses on the nuances of the ice on which the image of the nearest boat, nearby trees and the house of light umber color is reflected. An exposed section of ice sparkles in many shades of blue and navy. The painting is made with clear, thick brushstrokes, so that the paint layer does not let itself be forgotten.