Sebastian Luz

Cliffs, 1894

About the object

Luz's detailed and precise observation has captured the steep and rugged cliff face of the Scharfenstein: wherever a cleft in the rock opens, moss, small plants and even fir trees take root. Luz celebrates the beauty of wild and unspoiled nature in this painting
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With great precision, Sebastian Luz records a natural phenomenon that occurs fairly infrequently in the Black Forest: a massive cliff wall rising up out of the landscape. The jagged structure of the cliff is emphasized by light and shadow; Luz depicts the surface texture of the wild formation in extreme detail, applying the paint with a very fine brush in a precise, even draftsmanly way. The artist was especially fascinated by the vegetation that flourished in even the smallest of spaces, and depicted individual grasses and mosses on the face of the cliff. Wherever a crack opens up, firs or ferns take root, wresting space to grow from the rock. Due to the high level of moisture in the Black Forest, a wide range of natural life can thrive even in the walls of cliffs. In this precise nature study, the artist celebrates the beauty of wild and untouched nature. His brushstroke is dry and thin; the work could almost be mistaken for a colored drawing. This draftsmanly approach is characteristic of many of Luz’s works in oil; as in this painting, his pieces are usually underdrawn in pencil and then executed in great detail. TILMANN VON STOCKHAUSEN (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)

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