Museum Folkwang
  • Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: ›House and Trees‹, 1912

  • ›Haus und Bäume‹ (House and Trees) shows a motif from Dangast, the seaside resort on the Friesian North Sea coast near Varel, which Karl Schmidt-Rottluff visited several times between 1909 and 1912 and where he produced some of his most important pieces. He probably painted this piece in late summer 1912. The previous year Schmidt-Rottluff had moved to Berlin as the last member of the artists’ group ›Die Brücke‹ (The Bridge), where he found new inspiration for his painting through his contact with the art of the international avant-garde.

    It was above all the exhibitions in Herwarth Walden’s gallery ›Der Sturm‹ (The Storm) that encouraged Schmidt-Rottluff in his experiments with new forms of artistic expression. The gallery was opened in March 1912 with the first exhibition by the artists’ group ›Der Blaue Reiter‹ (The Blue Rider), which had already been on show in Munich and Cologne and included such works as ›La Ville‹ by Robert Delaunay. From April to May of the same year Walden showed an exhibition with works by the Italian Futurists. Schmidt-Rottluff was strongly attracted by the formal and artistic approaches in the works of artists belonging to ›The Blaue Reiter‹, such as Franz Marc, Wassily Kandinsky and Robert Delaunay, as well as the Italian Futurists Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni and Carlo Carrà. Nonetheless the new elements in his painting may also be related to his experience of the epochal ›Sonderbund‹ exhibition in Cologne from the end of May to the end of September 1912, which featured, among others, Cubist works by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Finally, through his exploration of the works of the Cubists, Paul Cézanne’s painting also influenced the genesis of his painting style. Particularly important here are Cézanne’s late landscapes.

    In the context of Museum Folkwang’s collection the work, purchased in 2008, supplements its stock of Expressionist painting and visualizes the close artistic exchange that took place between France and Germany in the initial decades of the 20th century. This reference is particularly evident compared to the works of Paul Cézanne, Robert Delaunay and Fernand Léger.

    Today Museum Folkwang owns five paintings by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, which illustrate his artistic development through its various stages. ›Rote Blüten‹ (Red Blossoms, 1906/07) illustrates the artist’s early days. ›Fischerkähne auf dem Haff‹ (Fishing Boats at the Backwater, 1913) and ›Kurische Nehrung‹ (Curonian Spit, 1914) were produced in the first few years after the dissolution of the artists’ group ›Die Brücke‹ (1912). Finally, the works ›Das letzte Fuder‹ (The Last Cartload, 1922) and ›Spiegelnder See‹ (Leba Lake in Pomerania, 1936) were created in the decades when Schmidt-Rottluff received public recognition, shortly before his career was destroyed by the cultural policies of the Nazis.

    Until it lost them as a consequence of the expropriations of »degenerate art« in 1937, Museum Folkwang owned three works from the years around 1912, which were so crucial to Schmidt-Rottluff’s artistic development. The paintings ›Landschaft mit Feldern‹ (Landscape with Fields) from 1911 (today owned by the Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg), ›Boote im Haff‹ (Boats in the Backwater) from 1913 (at the Osthaus Museum, Hagen) and ›Frauen am Meer‹ (Women by the Sea) from 1919 (whereabouts unknown) were unable to be retrieved after 1945.
  • Exh_Title_S: Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: ›House and Trees‹, 1912
  • Exh_Id: 1,624
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 187
Works
Haus und Bäume
La carrière de Bibémus
La Tour Eiffel
Les maisons sous les arbres
Rote Blüten
Fischerkähne auf dem Haff
Kurische Nehrung
Das letzte Fuder
Spiegelnder See