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19th Century Art


Friedrich Preller the Elder

Eisenach 1804 – 1878 Weimar

Mountain stream. 1846 (?)

Brush in brown over pencil on wove paper (watermark: J Whatman). 31,3 × 45,2 cm. (12 ⅜ × 17 ¾ in.) Monogrammed and dated lower right (faded): FP 46[?]. With the stamp in red on the reverse on the lower right: Nachlass Friedrich Preller. . Catalogue raisonné: The work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works by Friedrich Preller the Elder by Uwe Steinbrück, Jena.  [3106] Framed 

ProvenancePrivate Collection, Baden-Wuerttemberg

EUR 1.200 – 1.500
USD 1,330 – 1,670


Auction 340Wednesday, 1 June 2022
03:00 PM

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After Friedrich Preller the Elder returned from his trip to Norway in September 1840, he repeatedly used the watercolour technique to treat landscape and natural impressions from the Riesengebirge, his Thuringian homeland and the alpine high mountains. While grey-brown clay paper was used for the latter, the artist painted the work offered here on a wove paper made by James Whatman, a favourite throughout his life. Within the texture of the mountain stream, each newly applied watercolour glaze allows underlying layers to partially shine through, whereas in the picture's background, the contours of the trees merge, due to heavily thinned paint, with the mountain range silhouetted against the horizon and the narrow strip of sky. The transparency of both zones of the picture conveys an extremely difficult lighting situation within which light and shadow oscillate. Due to the unusually strong luminosity of the light brown colour, the tangible substance of water and vegetation, even of the lumps of rock, seems to disappear. Preller was obviously concerned with constituting an atmospheric space in which a dreamlike motif appears timelessly present. Uwe Steinbrück

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