Hermann Dischler

Ospelehof Farm in Hinterzarten, 1908

About the object

Dischler chooses not to depict the representative façade of a typical Black Forest farm in this painting, focussing instead on the working section complete with barn entrance. The use of thick brushstrokes seems spontaneous and authentic. Today, the Ospelehof estate comprises a working farm, a holiday home and a farm shop.
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As this painting shows, Hermann Dischler was able to depict on the canvas not only winter, but other seasons as well. Particularly in his smaller works, Dischler often used very loose, sketch-like brushstrokes. Here the foliage of the trees is suggested using only strong, rotating strokes. The opaque colors convey the impression of a day with a somewhat overcast sky, while the forested hills in the background almost disappear in the milky light. Against this background, the few details—such as the glowing red chimney and the lightcolored ridge turret and bell on the roof of the farmhouse—stand out all the more clearly. This perspective of a farmhouse viewed from the mountainside seems glimpsed almost by chance. The composition of the picture is unusual: the foreground is occupied not by the formal façade of the house, but by the working part of the farm with the barn entrance, giving the painting an authentic, spontaneous quality. In contrast to his larger works, which were often developed in almost photorealistic detail, Dischler also frequently painted in a more impressionistic style. A photograph and a pencil drawing of this same view also exist; the composition of the drawing, however, differs significantly from the photograph, which was made only much later. In this case, therefore, Dischler probably made the drawing directly from nature, and may have painted on location as well. The Ospelehof farm is located outside the town of Hinterzarten. It offers a wide view of the landscape, which Dischler here bathes in a diffused light. The farm is still maintained today, although it is now used as a vacation home with its own farm shop. TILMANN VON STOCKHAUSEN (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)

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