Carl Morgenstern - The Waterfalls at Tivoli
The Waterfalls at Tivoli
Oil on canvas (relined). 31 x 37 cm.
Signed and dated lower right: Carl M* 18[...].
Carl Morgenstern was born in Frankfurt as the son of the painter and restorer Johann Friedrich Morgenstern (1777-1844). His great-grandfather Johann Christoph Morgenstern (1697-1819) was already court painter in Rudolstadt. His son Johann Ludwig Ernst Morgenstern (1738-1819), who cemented the renown of the dynasty, specialised in depictions of church interiors.
Carl was taught to paint by his father before beginning his studies at the Munich Academy. However, he failed to find the inspiration he sought there as a landscape painter, and his main inspiration was to come from the plein air painter Christian Ernst Bernhard Morgenstern, a relative of his who worked far from academic constraints, as well as Heinrich Bürkel and Peter von Heß. He travelled to Tivoli with friends and fellow artists in 1835, where he completed numerous oil and pencil studies which he later converted into paintings during the winter of that year to sell in Frankfurt. He continued to paint many more Italian views throughout the following years when he returned to his hometown, and thus became known as Frankfurt's painter of Italy.
Morgenstern varies the application of paint to achieve a kind of layering in the landscape, contrasting thick but fine application in the foreground with thin application in the background, where he creates a hazy effect using a smearing technique. The present work is an excellent example of the freer style that Morgenstern developed during his Munich period.
Private collection, Rhineland Palatinate.