Louis Gurlitt - View of the Albufera Lake
View of the Albufera Lake
Oil on canvas. 81 x 119 cm.
Signed lower left: Gurlitt München.
Addenda: The painting shows the Albufera Lake near Valencia. We would like to thank Dr. Christoph Andreas and Max Andreas, Frankfurt/Main, for the kindly note.
The present work originates from a German private collection and has either previously not been published in literature on Louis Gurlitt or could not be identified. It probably depicts a Sicilian landscape somewhere near Palermo. Among Gurlitt's known works, this landscape probably displays the most similarity to his “View of Monte Pellegrino near Palermo, as seen from the Abbey of Santa Maria di Gesu”, painted in 1847 and today housed in the collection of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. The two works are of a similar size and both show simplified, angularly painted farmsteads, nestled among the earthy tones of the arid southern landscape. Thus, we can assume that the present work also depicts the view as seen from Monte Pellegrino (cf. U. Schulte-Wülwer op. cit., illus. 80, p. 83).
Gurlitt travelled to Sicily for the first time in 1846, accompanied by the Danish painters Wilhelm Marstrand and August Wilhelm Boesen. He wrote of the region, “I have to visit the island before I leave Italy. The beauty of the nature there surpasses all else. I will probably go there and then return straight to Germany to paint Sicilian landscapes” (L. Gurlitt, op. cit., p. 187). Gurlitt did in fact return home to Berlin from Sicily in late August, where he was commissioned to paint a series of Italian landscapes by Baron Ferdinand von Ritzenberg. He is not recorded as having stayed in Munich on his way back from Italy, but the location inscription beside the signature would suggest that he did. He is not known to have later resided in the Bavarian capital after returning from Sicily, and during his earlier Munich period he only travelled as far as northern Italy.