Museum Folkwang
  • Drawings of the 19th Century – In the Light of Italy

  • Within the 19th century drawings and aquarelles held by the Grafische Samlung of the Museum Folkwang, those made in Italy form an independent and large group. These are not works made by Italian artists; they are, without exception, works by Germans, Austrians and Swiss, who spent at least a few years there in the wake of an aspiration for things Italian of the day – Joseph Rebell, Friedrich Preller the Older and Johann Heinrich Schillbach, for example. Others settled permanently in Italy (and then usually in Rome), such as Joseph Anton Koch, Johann Christian Reinhart, Salomon Corrodi, Heinrich Dreber and Johann Martin von Rohden.

    Just as in the landscape paintings of the time, the works on paper also show the desire to capture the fascination of the southern light in works of art. What is remarkable, however, is that this desire manifested itself not only in such aquarelles which presented a landscape in a certain light, such as for example Salomon Corrodi’s panoramic ›View of Rome from Monte Mario‹, characterized quite successfully by the soft light of a setting sun. At the same time there were washed sheets, such as Joseph Rebell’s ›View of Frascati‹, Johann Martin von Rohden’s ›View of Tivoli‹ and Johann Heinrich Schilbach’s description of the landscape ›Between Albano and Ariccia‹, with their finely differentiated tonality giving the impression of landscapes flooded by light and characterized by the contrast between brightly lit and shaded areas.

    The sheets can also be divided into two groups on the basis of compositional organization. On the one hand there were works which meticulously reproduce a certain section of a landscape, such as Joseph Rebell’s ›View of the Gulf of Salerno‹ or Leo von Klenze’s ›The Gate of King Kokolos‹. There were also landscape views in which only a certain motif is precisely done with the other parts either being only hinted at or left out altogether. This holds true, for example, for Rebell’s ›View of Frascati‹ in which, unlike in reality, the most distant elements of the work – the Mondragone and Falconieri villas – are captured in detail while the closer foreground is almost completely excluded and only hinted at with a few strokes of the pencil. This may reflect the demands of the landscape painter and art theoretician Pierre-Henri de Valencienne, who in his ›Practical Introduction to Linear and Aerial Perspective for Drawers and Painters‹ from 1803 stipulated that an artist should capture as quickly as possible the rapidly changing mood of a certain time of day – and only this »as to aim to capture all the following moments of the day and their changing effects in one moment is a major sin against the truth and absolute proof of a complete lack of consideration.« If an artist took into consideration Valencienne’s call to spend no more that two hours on a sheet, then logically only one area could be indicated. At the same time, with such seemingly uncompleted works, the creative process itself becomes the focus of attention.
  • Exh_Title_S: Drawings of the 19th Century – In the Light of Italy
  • Exh_Id: 617
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): Department of Prints and Drawings
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 186
Works
Blick auf Rom vom Monte Mario aus
Blick auf Frascati
Blick auf Tivoli
Zwischen Albano und Ariccia
Blick auf den Golf von Salerno
Das Tor des Königs Kokolos
Italienische Berglandschaft
Castel Gandolfo mit Albanersee
Landschaft mit Schäferin und Herde
Landschaft mit Amphitheater
Italienische Landschaft (Arricia?)
Italienische Bäuerin im Gebirge
Landschaft mit Bäuerin und einem Hirten
Idyllische Landschaft