Frozen Fir Trees on the Feldberg, 1923
About the object
Frozen fir trees, covered with thick snow, tower on a hillside like silent observers. Towards the valley, the vista opens up where the snow-capped Alps on the distant horizon are visible. The absence of human traces in the landscape illustrates its unspoiled nature.
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Frozen fir trees, covered in heavy snow, stand on a hill like silent observers. They throw long shadows in the setting sun; evening falls. The view toward the valley extends to the snow-covered Alps on the horizon. Distant views of this kind, which evoked the differences in elevation characteristic of the uplands, were popular motifs for 19th-century landscape painters. Here, Hermann Dischler combines a view into the distance with an idyllic image of winter. The snow-covered fir trees at the center of the painting, like the alternation of valley and mountains and the snowy winter itself, are a “trademark” of the Black Forest. In this work, Dischler chose to depict only nature itself, with no sign of human life: no buildings, no tracks in the snow. The silent, peaceful, solitary mood of the painting makes it easy to forget how harsh and inhospitable the winters in the Black Forest really were, and are. In order to capture this view with a camera, the painter himself must have stood atop the hill on skis. Dischler took photographs which he then used to create paintings in his studio. For this reason his paintings always show motifs that are true to nature, even though his evocation of light and color tends to romanticize and idealize the image of winter. Here, too, the artist has bathed the entire scene in an almost unreal sunset and colored the sky in iridescent tones of blue and rosé. At the same time, Dischler’s impressionistic application of paint also serves to create a strong sense of depth. MIRJA STRAUB (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)