Hermann Dischler

Winter in the Black Forest, 1909

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Dischler has recorded these two Black Forest farms on the outskirts of Hinterzarten down to the smallest detail. He was able to reproduce this exactly because he used technical aids and projected photographic images onto the canvas. This explains why his paintings are now regarded as historical documents.
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Hermann Dischler was associated with a group of artists in Freiburg after the turn of the century who were especially interested in the Black Forest and its distinctive qualities. Dischler’s particular specialty was winter landscapes. Here the artist shows two Black Forest farmhouses outside of Hinterzarten, a village near Freiburg that is now a popular recreational area. The landscape is covered in heavy snow, though the snow on the farmhouse roofs has largely melted. The house in front is built entirely of wood, while the living quarters of the more modern building in the background are constructed of masonry. A small private chapel next to the farmhouse on the left was probably built in an era when the inhabitants were unable to get to church during the winter. A forest of fir trees covers the mountain slope in the background, which still lies in shadow and is veiled in fog. Dischler’s landscape images are generally very accurate; hence they also function as historical documents recording the actual appearance of Black Forest farms around the turn of the century. He made use of technical means to achieve these exact renderings, projecting photographic images onto the canvas. Dischler was also very interested in effects of color; he especially prized the atmosphere of morning or evening light with its intensification of color. For this reason, his images sometimes recall the hyperrealism of modern painting. TILMANN VON STOCKHAUSEN (Transl. MELISSA THORSON)

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