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Louis Eysen

Partie bei Schönberg im Taunus (Outing near Schönberg in the Taunus Mountains) 1877

Oil on canvas mounted on board

Dated at bottom left: June 77

The foothills of the Taunus Mountains were bathed in verdant green in June 1877, when Louis Eysen fixed his gaze on Schönberg from the west and reached for his brush. The artist had settled in Kronberg in 1873, and after a year spent in Paris had been in regular contact with the Leibl circle in Munich. Still under the impression of those two influences, Eysen arrived at his elevated vantage point above Schönberg and immediately got down to work committing the many different shades of green to canvas. While the lone tree standing in the flattish foreground meadow is still clearly delineated, the remaining vegetation seems as if subsumed in the vast array of greens. Embedded among them is the roughly sketched in church of St. Alban,1 after which the eye wanders off into the delicate blue shades of the landscape in the far distance and the horizon beyond. Eysen’s Kronberg period, which ended with his move to Merano in 1879, saw him adding numerous Taunus landscapes to an oeuvre that would ultimately comprise only some 150 oil paintings. This work is typical of those small-format, for the most part intimate, landscapes that characterize this period in his career.2 By positioning the horizon so high up on the canvas, the artist forces us to concentrate on the landscape before us, specifically on its colours and on the fall of light; for as he himself noted in 1879: “Moods I take pleasure in only when they come about through circumstances immanent in the natural motif itself … These moods are not states of mind, however, but rather reside in the light and colours defined by the seasons.”3

  1. The Catholic Church of St. Alban was built in 1766. The design of the interior follows the High Baroque style then prevailing.

  2. Louis Eysen (1843–1899) und Meran, exh. cat. Landesmuseum Schloss Tirol 1997, Bolzano 1997, p. 72.

  3. Ibid. p. 73.

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