Ida Maier

Lake Titisee, 1855

About the object

The lake sits there beneath the sloping hills, placid and seemingly unspoiled. As yet there is no inkling to be had of the wave of mass tourism to descend on the area by the end of the 19th century. Hikers and anglers were the first to discover the remote glacial lake for themselves, but the inauguration of the Höllental railway in 1887 opened the area up to tourists.
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Lake Titisee lies quiet and peaceful, framed by green wooded slopes. The cloudy sky is reflected in the smooth surface of the water, with sun breaking through in various places. As yet there is no trace of the mass tourism that was to arrive in the region toward the end of the 19th century. No hotels or holiday villas line the shore; instead, we see only isolated farmhouses. The Seehof with its mill appears in the foreground; the smoke rising from its chimney helps convey the sense of an idyllic atmosphere. Not until the mid-19th century was this glacial lake in the southern Black Forest “discovered” as a destination for lone wayfarers. The hikers generally came through the Höllental or Löffeltal valleys; often they were Englishmen, and many of them were fishermen, since fish were abundant in Lake Titisee. Around this same time landscape painters also began to take an interest in the lake. Such was the case with Ida Maier, an artist who today has largely been forgotten. Her painting shows a popular perspective: the view from the Hochfirst mountain toward the southwest, across the lake all the way to the Feldberg, whose peak Maier has depicted shrouded in clouds. Hinterzarten and Breitnau appear to the right. At first, the name “Titisee” referred only to the lake, but later came to be used for the entire village, which quickly expanded after the “discovery” of the lake. The first restaurant opened in 1873 and soon thereafter led to the opening of the “Titiseehotel,” the first hotel on the shoreline. With the inauguration of the Höllental Railway, a second hotel was opened on May 21, 1887— and many others were to follow. To this day, the lake is one of the most popular destinations for Black Forest tourists. MIRJA STRAUB (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)

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