Snowballs & Snowball Fights
    And now y shal telle ȝow of þe noble Erl Thomas of Lancastre. When he was taken & brouȝt to Ȝork, meny of þe citee were ful glade, and uppon him criede wiþ hye voice, “A, sire traitoure! Ȝe arne welcome, blessed be God! for now shal ȝe have þe reward þ at longetyme ȝe haue diserued!” and caste uppon him meny snoweballes, and many oþer reproues dede him. But þe gentil Erl þat soffrede, and saide neþer on ne oþere.

    The Brut, or the Chronicles of England,
    chapter 198

  • Allegory of Winter by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, fresco at the Palazzo Publico in Siena, c. 1338-1340
  • Climate: snow and ice, Tacuinum Sanitatis (BNF NAL 1673, fol. 96v), c. 1390-1400
  • Details (1 and 2) from the January fresco at Castello Buonconsiglio, c. 1405-1410
  • The Virgin and Child with Saints by Sassetta, 1430-1432
  • December, the Book of Hours of Adélaïde de Savoie (Musée Condé 78, fol. 12v), c. 1460-1465
  • December in a book of hours (Walters W.425.12R), c. 1510

  • A wanton wenche vppon a colde daye
    With Snowe balles prouoked me to playe:
    But theis snowe balles soe hette my desyer
    That I maye calle them balles of wylde fyer.
    Whoe woulde haue thoughte in this colde snowe
    Cupyde woulde hide his fonde fyrye towe,
    Or that from water shoulde breede brandes fyrye,
    Or colde and moyste shoulde cause hotte and drye?
    What place is free from Loues slye workeinge
    If vnder snowe his fyer lye lurkeinge?
    Noe snowe nor thinge this fyer can quenche
    But the like fyer of this like wenche.

    “Of a Snowe balle,” Nicholas Bacon

  • December, book of hours (Douce 135, fol. 7v), second quarter of the 16th century
  • Conrad, age ten, plays in the snow, in the Schwartz Trachtenbuch, 1561
  • The Census at Bethlehem by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 1566
  • Winter by Jost Amman
  • Winter by Abel Grimmer
  • Winter landscape by Abel Grimmer
  • Snowball Fight by Jan van Goyen, 1625