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Otto Scholderer

Maréchal – Niel Rosen in einer Glasvase (Maréchal – Niel Roses in a Glass Vase) after 1871

Oil on cardboard

Signed at bottom right: Otto Scholderer

The label of the frame-maker, Chapman Bros. of London,1 preserved on the original frame allows this painting to be dated to the period after Scholderer’s move to London in 1871. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870/71 had left the painter with no choice but to flee to London from Paris, a city that had had a formative impact on his development as an artist. The influence of his first stay in Paris in 1857–58 and of his meeting with Gustave Courbet2 during the latter’s visit to Frankfurt a short time later are clearly apparent in Scholderer’s first impasto still lifes of ordinary everyday objects dating from the early 1860s. The intellectual milieu in which Scholderer would henceforth move on his many subsequent trips to Paris is captured most impressively in Un atelier aux Batignolles,3 a painting of Manet’s studio by his friend Henri Fantin-Latour, in which Scholderer is one of the many artists present. This was the generation of painters who, rejecting the established academic norms of their age, discovered in still life painterliness par excellence.
In a magnificent affirmation of colour, Scholderer lets the Niel roses unfurl their yellow glory, whose radiance he further enhances by setting it off against a tenebrous background. With his audacious line, he captures the reflections of light on the intricately reproduced vase, which seems almost to take off from the black table-top. While the impasto painting makes for a lively impression of spontaneously arranged roses, the isolation of the motif composed of blooms in various stages of florescence conveys a powerful sense of the inexorable march of time and hence of transience.

  1. Chapman Bros London. Carvers and Gilders, picture framemakers. 251 King’s Road, Chelsea. 1874–1917.

  2. Gustave Courbet (1819 Ornas – 1877 La Tour-de-Peilz), the most important exponent of Realism in French painting, visited Frankfurt a. M. in 1858/59.

  3. Henri Fantin-Latour, Un atelier aux Batignolles, 1870, oil on canvas, 204 x 273.5 cm, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, Inv. No. RF 729. Depicted alongside Manet, whom Scholderer got to know in 1868, are Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille and Emil Zola, among others.

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