Landschaft mit Moorkanal
Oil on heavy paper, mounted on artist's board 45.5 x 72 cm (45.8 x 72.5 cm) Framed. Barely legibly dated '1900' in lower right margin. - Minute old retouches in lower left corner.
The impasto of the paint is applied with forceful and agitated brushstrokes, depicting a view on to the silhouette of a village before an elevated horizon. A narrow canal reflecting the fine weather divides this bog landscape typical of Worpswede, and it draws our eye into the landscape's deeply receding perspective. Paula Modersohn-Becker loved the colours of northern European nature, the brown formed by the peat, the green defined by the mosses, the invigorating red of the farmhouses and not least the powerful blue tones of the sky and its reflections. Even early on, in her first landscape images and in the work here, the artist actualises the true powers of nature and uses the selected cropping of the landscape to pave the way for a northern, seemingly two-dimensional atmospheric painting that permits her own feelings to flow into the landscape. Presented summarily, this exceptional landscape painting reveals itself only when viewed more closely, through its details. The brushstroke and the tectonic structure of the image identify Modersohn-Becker as an extremely modern painter, far ahead of her time.
Galerie Goldschmidt Frankfurt 1922; (acquired there, with receipt) Heinrich Conrad Collection, Essen; in family possession since
Essen 1972 (Museum Folkwang), Freunde des Museums sammeln, cat. no. 38, p. 41 with illus.