Oil on canvas 46.8 x 64 cm, framed. Signed and dated 'OModersohn 43' in dark red lower right. Reverse of stretcher inscribed '11' and titled 'Winte[gestrichen] Weg nach Surheide im Winter' (Winte[crossed out] Path to Surheide in the Winter). - Reverse with ownership annotations and indication of dimensions by an unknown hand. - According to information from the archive, the painting is listed in the register of paintings from the late work of Otto Modersohn for the year 1943 under the title "Winterlandschaft Weg nach Surheide" (Winter Landscape Path to Surheide) and under the no. "2". It once belonged to Mathilde Modersohn, called "Tille", the daughter of Otto Modersohn and Paula Modersohn-Becker.
We would like to thank Rainer Noeres, Otto-Modersohn-Archive, Fischerhude, for confirmatory and additional information.
Formerly Tille Modersohn; gift from Tille Modersohn to the previous owner; North German private possession
Otto Modersohn succeeds in depicting the typical atmosphere of a sombre winter day in the countryside in earthy and subdued tones. A pair of figures in the painting's middle ground struggles along through the deep ruts of the snow-covered road, which is flanked on either side by bare winter trees and bushes; individual birds can be recognised in the diffusely lit sky. Barren Northern German heaths, featuring wintery weather and seen in a deep perspective, are a common motif in Modersohn's work - they are often also combined with staffage figures who go about their daily tasks regardless of the bad weather. The transparent application of paint on a very thin canvas is remarkable, nevertheless the shades of yellowish ochre, purple, blue, red and green are striking accents, set off against the shimmering turquoise background and the off-white areas reflecting brightly.