Peasant Girl with Two Goats, Carrying a Bundle of Hay, 1856
About the object
This depiction of a peasant girl fits squarely into the tradition of Romanticism. The bundle of hay on the girl's head looks more like a floral crown than a heavy burden, as the goats at her feet tease one another playfully. If it weren’t for the fir trees and the ridged skyline in the background, the scene could have been set in Italy.
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Dominik Weber’s depiction of a young peasant girl still stands entirely in the Romantic tradition. The scene almost looks as if it came not from the Black Forest, but from Italy. The barefooted maiden elegantly balances her burden on her head; the artfully tied bundle with sprigs of vegetation escaping from the sides seems not like a heavy load, but like a crown of flowers on the girl’s head. She is accompanied by two goats who press against her. This bourgeois-romantic view of rural life has its charm, but does not correspond in the least to the harsh realities of life for people in the Black Forest. Here, however, the artist was concerned not with realism, but with the image of an Arcadian ideal. Dominik Weber was apprenticed to Dionys Ganter in Eisenbach in the High Black Forest, where he was probably initially trained as a clock shield painter. In 1842, he entered the academy in Munich to study painting; in Munich he also had contact with the Nazarenes. After 1847, he lived successfully as a painter and portrait artist in Freiburg and painted many altarpieces, including the high altar of St. Peter and Paul in Freiburg-Kappel. TILMANN VON STOCKHAUSEN (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)