Max Lieber

Black Forest Landscape, um 1900

About the object

From a high vantage point, the vista stretches out over the rolling hills. On the horizon the sun shines through the cloud cover, while the cultural landscape with its tended pastures and enclosed woodland are completely in the shadow of the clouds, which explains the muted choice of colour.
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The painting by Max Lieber shows a view of the Black Forest from a vantage point high above the landscape. The mountains of the Black Forest are generally not craggy peaks, but consist of gentle hilltops. The uplands are also characterized by high plateaus with valleys and meadows. From the Rhine valley in the west the mountains first ascend quite steeply and dramatically, then fall slightly away to the east to form numerous high plateaus with a mild hilly landscape and meadows well-suited to animal husbandry. Unlike the Alps, the Black Forest is a very old mountain range that has largely lost its cragginess due to continuous erosion. In this work, Lieber captures the expanse of the landscape on a somewhat overcast day. Dark clouds gather on the horizon, although blue sky still gleams through in a few places. The landscape, however, lies completely in shadow, as if darkness were already falling. Signs of human life are noticeably absent: only a single schematic figure appears on a narrow footpath in the left half of the image, and nowhere do we see a house or a farm. Still, this scene is not wild; it is a cultivated landscape created by human beings with bounded pastures and carefully defined areas of forest. The subdued lighting, however, evokes a somewhat gloomy overall impression. TILMANN VON STOCKHAUSEN (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)

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Augustinermuseum Freiburg: Black Forest. Suwon 2016. 4. 9., S. 123 Seiten.
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