Otto Modersohn: Landscapes of Silence
Text by Tayfun Belgin, Andrea Fink-Belgin, Erich Franz.
Popular and beloved in his lifetime but subsequently overlooked by historians of German Symbolist-era painting, Otto Modersohn (1865–1943) painted humble landscape scenes full of intimacy and sobriety, repeatedly mining the possibilities of his dark, moody palette. Aside from a handful of early city scenes done in the 1880s, Modersohn’s small-scale paintings depict quiet country lanes, fields with wildflowers or barns and churches in the background, somewhat in the tradition of French Romantic painters such as Daubigny, Corot and Dupré. After 1900, small girls and bathers began to crop up in these rural scenes. Following the death of his wife, Paula Modersohn-Becker, in 1907, Modersohn increasingly focused on translucent winter scenes realized with great simplicity of feeling, and often executed by night. This substantial overview of his works is the first comprehensive monograph in English.