Arrival of the Yule Log

The medieval winter scene was inspired by ‘Hunters in the Snow’, painted in 1565 by the Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder. It showed the hunters and their dogs returning from a hunt, walking over the brow of a hill with a wide, cold panoramic snow-scape ahead of them. I first came across this painting on a Christmas card when I was a child and have admired it ever since.

The theme of my card is ‘Yuletide’, a word many people use but few actually know what it refers to. A detailed explanation was on the back of this Christmas card and is on the next page image. The scene shows the procession of the Yule log on its way to the manor house (Ashurst Lodge, distorted to resemble a castle).

The main characters were photographed outside in the open air, surrounded by very large white panels of canvas (side panels borrowed from the Institute’s summer marquee) to imitate the reflective light of snow. The banner is the Institute’s flag, whose emblem I repeated on the shield. The cream and burgundy dress worn by the foremost ‘mediaeval lady’ is my youngest sister’s wedding dress, which I designed for her.