This was one of a series of tapestry cartoons, painted shortly after Goya's appointment as Painter to the King (Pintor del Rey) in 1786. The sketches were submitted to the King at the Escorial in
the autumn of that year.
The sketch for The Snowstorm was sold to the Duke of Osuna in 1799 as one of the Four Seasons. The cartoon and three others, painted at the same time for tapestries to decorate the dining-room in the Palace of El Pardo, may have been intended as representations of the Seasons. If so, Goya's Winter's unconventional in portraying men enduring the rigours of a snowstorm rather than enjoying the pleasures or comforts of the season.