A Dash of Art History

Large (Wikimedia)
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller painted The Roman Ruins in Schönbrunn in 1832.
I’ve always found Waldmüller’s body of work surprisingly incongruous. His genre scenes—paintings of every-day life—consist almost entirely of idealized, moralizing images of smiling rural families and occasional heavy-handed religious themes. They read almost as parodies of the pastoral ideal.
Yet his still lifes (and, as seen here, his landscapes) manage to be realistic—but also full of life; the statues in the middle seem mere moments from turning around, highlighted as they are by the little patch of sun through the arch.

Large (Wikimedia)

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller painted The Roman Ruins in Schönbrunn in 1832.

I’ve always found Waldmüller’s body of work surprisingly incongruous. His genre scenes—paintings of every-day life—consist almost entirely of idealized, moralizing images of smiling rural families and occasional heavy-handed religious themes. They read almost as parodies of the pastoral ideal.

Yet his still lifes (and, as seen here, his landscapes) manage to be realistic—but also full of life; the statues in the middle seem mere moments from turning around, highlighted as they are by the little patch of sun through the arch.

  • 3 May 2014
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