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Gustav Friedrich Papperitz

* 1813 – † 1861

Evening Landscape

Oil on cardboard
19 cm30,5 cm
7.48"12.01"
Evening Landscape

The composition betrays a certain routine: along the lower edge of the canvas a strip of vegetation, bushes or tree crowns and behind them here and there the dark silhouette of a taller tree; in the far distance a range of mountains, and along the top of the canvas a strip of grey cloud. What induced the artist to reach for his brush was clearly what lies between them: a beautifully variegated evening sky with thick banks of cloud, towering cumuli and transparent wisps rendered in an array of subtle nuances ranging from dark grey to pale salmon pink. The bad weather seems to be on the retreat and is bringing in its wake the glow of fine weather to come. The relief felt by the viewer at the return of the light and, ultimately, the specific complexion and sublimity of a single brief moment – all this Papperitz captures swiftly and intuitively in loose, deftly applied brushstrokes filling the whole canvas. The manner of the painting reveals a self-assurance born of years of practice. Studies like this one were not intended for public consumption; they remained in the artist’s studio where they could be consulted and reused when needed, whether as a source of information on things seen and experienced, or as an idea that might be built on, varied and pursued. The estate of Gustav Papperitz (1813–1861), which became accessible only following the death of his son Georg (1846–1918), contained an abundance of oil studies like this one, which by then were much more highly prized as works in their own right. Whenever an artist’s estate came up for auction, therefore, they were eagerly snapped up by well-known collectors like Wilhelm Laaff, from whose collection this particular example comes.1


  1. Auction catalogue of the artistic estate of Gustav Friedrich Papperitz, Oskar Schütz, Dresden; Rudolf Bangel Frankfurt a. M., No. 993, 27 January 1920 / Auction catalogue of the collection of Prinz zu Sayn u. Wittgenstein and the estate of G. F. Papperitz, Dresden: Gemälde moderner Meister, Aquarelle, Handzeichnungen, Graphik; Rudolf Bangel Frankfurt am Main No. 1002, 15–17 June 1920.

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