Wilhelm Hasemann

Bridal Procession in Winter, 1905

About the object

Hasemann illustrates a scene from the novel The Vogt auf Mühlstein (The Guardian of Mühlstein) by Heinrich Hansjakob: in the deep mid-winter, people are on their way to church, especially the bride Magdalena dressed in traditional costume and sporting the bridal crown, known as »Schäppel« in the Black Forest. Her demeanour tells us that this is no love match.
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As the founder of the Gutach artists’ colony, Wilhelm Hasemann persuaded numerous artists to join him in the romantic town of Gutach in the Kinzig valley. Many of them resided in the local inn. Among Hasemann’s friends and comrades was the popular Catholic theologian and writer Heinrich Hansjakob (1837-1916). Hansjakob recorded many folk tales of life in the Black Forest, including the story Der Vogt auf Mühlstein (The Bailiff “auf Mühlstein”). In this story, a Black Forest girl named Magdalena falls in love with a young man, but is forced to marry a much older, rich farmer instead. Wilhelm Hasemann illustrated many books and stories by Heinrich Hansjakob, including the story of The Bailiff “auf Mühlstein.” In addition to lithographs for the printed book, Hasemann also created several paintings inspired by the story, two of which are included in this catalogue. The painting shown here depicts Magdalena’s bridal procession, with the wedding party passing through the woods in the middle of winter on their way to the church. At the head of the procession we see Magdalena wearing traditional costume. She is adorned with a wedding crown, a socalled “Schäppel”; these colorful crowns were fashioned at home of materials including colorful pieces of metal, textiles, and beads. Almost every village had a different wedding crown with its own characteristic forms and patterns. Winter weddings were quite normal in the Black Forest. In the winter people had more time than in the summer when they had to work in the fields. The wintry scenery lends the picture a melancholy mood, an impression intensified by the unhappy gaze of Magdalena, who is forced to marry against her will. This picture and the story behind it document the prevalence of arranged marriages in the 19th-century Black Forest. Marriages were contracted not for love, but on the basis of economic deliberations by the parents. In this way, an advantageous marriage could secure survival for the often impoverished farmers. TILMANN VON STOCKHAUSEN (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)

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Schwarzwald Bilder :. Kunst des 19. Jahrhunderts : Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe, 3. Dezember 2016 bis 26. Februar 2017 /. Petersberg 2016, S. 240 Seiten ;.
Baumann, Joachim: Wilhelm Hasemann. Künstlerpostkarten. Schonach [u.a.] 2010, S. 42, 4.

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