Max Wilhelm Roman

Black Forest Landscape, 1899

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Roman faithfully captures the mood of a summer's day: in the upper regions of the Black Forest, the hilltops are treeless for the most part. The upland meadows are often littered with huge boulders and stones. The presence of a wooden water trough indicates that this meadow was used as an upland pasture.
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In this landscape study, Max Wilhelm Roman shows the transition from forest to mountain meadow on a summer day. The heights and hilltops of the Black Forest are generally not wooded, not only because the elevation is too high for trees, but also because the relatively flat hilltops offer ideal pasture land. The meadows, however, are often strewn with boulders and stones, as in this study. The edge of the meadow is marked by the steep descent of the mountainside, where firs and spruces grow. On the right side of the picture, a wooden water trough rests on a wooden fork, placed there to supply the cattle with water. This painting was probably made near the Feldberg, an area increasingly sought out by mountaineers and vacationers beginning in the early 20th century. Roman used very loose but thin brushstrokes to create this atmospheric landscape study. Roman had studied at the Großherzoglich-Badische Kunstschule (Baden Grand Ducal School of Art) in Karlsruhe. Numerous study trips took him not only to Italy, but above all to the Black Forest. He frequently journeyed from Karlsruhe to Gutach in the central Black Forest, where he sought out motifs for his paintings and enjoyed contact with the circle of the Gutach painters’ school, founded by Wilhelm Hasemann after 1880. TILMANN VON STOCKHAUSEN (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)

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