Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"A Heavy Fall of Snow" in London, 1821 - and in Boston, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Isabella reporting,

This weekend I've been visiting in the Boston area, just in time for another major snow-storm. Twenty-two inches of fresh snow fell this weekend, which helped set a new regional record for the most snow in a 30-day period: 71.6 inches. There's still more of the white stuff drifting by the window right now. The city is pretty much closed for clean-up today, with all public transportation shut down, as well as schools, universities, and many businesses.

All of which makes this 1821 print by Richard Dighton (1795-1880) seem particularly apt. I've shared other prints by Dighton that feature winter miseries, and he captures the awfulness of cold weather so perfectly that I have to think he spent much of the cold weather months dreaming of the Caribbean.

Here a dapper gentleman with yellow gloves and a fur-collared overcoat (and Herculean thighs!) runs afoul of the man clearing snow from the roof of a shop. An accident, or perhaps an intentional, irresistible attack upon that gleaming beaver hat?

I particularly like how the shop belongs to "Careless. Skate Maker...", with rows of ice skates hanging in the windows. The true question, of course, is who here is really careless: the skate maker, the shoveler, or the hapless gentleman.

Above: A heavy fall of snow (plate two of 'A London Nuisance' series), by Richard Dighton, 1821, published by G. Humphrey. Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University.


QNPoohBear said...

Can that man come into the future and clean our roof? I heard it's pretty bad in Worcester too. In Providence we have less snow but still almost record amounts. Record in my lifetime anyway, since I just missed the Blizzard of 78

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