Oskar Moll - Levanto I, Blumenstrauß am Fenster mit Brücke
Levanto I, Blumenstrauß am Fenster mit Brücke
oil on canvas 100 x 75 cm
Oskar Moll, who came from Silesia, went to Paris in 1907 where he soon met the painter Henri Matisse, who was 6 years older. This is where, together with his wife Margarethe Haeffner-Moll, a sculptor, and also with Hans Purrmann, Rudolf Levy and others, he founded the free 'Académie Matisse' which soon grew to over 80 members in 1910. Although his works are highly individual and bespeak masterly expertise, we can nevertheless discern the influence of Matisse. Moll, who came from a wealthy industrialist family, purchased numerous high-quality paintings from Matisse between 1907 and 1914. The two artists were to become friends, inspiring each other; their friendship continued well beyond Moll's departure from Paris.
This painting was created in Levanto on the Ligurian coast, which he frequently visited between 1913 and 1926. Moll was above all concerned to capture the sensory impact of his colour experiences. These chords always have a lightness about them and a certain decorative, cheerful and indeed lyrical radiance. Moll seems to have captured the vigorous light of the Ligurian coast in a playful manner. The dominant blue colour values turn the painting into a space full of sublime intellectual transparency.
"Levanto I shows more than the typical, popular combination of two motifs: a still life and a landscape. It also marks a stylistic turning point, as its linear and planar elements are now far more clearly arranged along geometric and static lines. The table, which is almost parallel with the frame, serves as a base for an arrangement of the vertical and horizontal colour planes. The vase and the flowers within this scheme - as is so often the case - are offset in their colours with great representational precision. The way in which the red table, the green window and the blue wall relate to one another and the indication of a weightless and transparent sphere of light on the window panes are elements that prove the perfect harmony between all his painterly resources." (Siegfried & Dorothea Salzmann, Oskar Moll, Leben und Werk, Munich 1975, p. 24).
Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Cologne (label on reverse); Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Hennis, Freiburg; private possession, Rhineland
Sigfried and Dorothea Salzmann, Oskar Moll, Leben und Werk. Munich 1975, p. 24
Mainz/Wroclaw/Wuppertal 1998 (Landesmuseum Mainz/Muzeum Narodowe Wroclaw/Von der Heydt-Museum), Oskar Moll - Gemälde und Aquarelle, cat. no. 48, with full-page colour illus. p. 130