Franz Wilhelm Seiwert
1894 - Cologne - 1933
Fabrik und Wohnhäuser am Rhein
Oil on card. 20.5 x 32 cm. Framed. Monogrammed and dated 'FWS 25' (written into the wet paint layer) upper left. Personal address details 'F. W. SEIWERT KÖLN/RHEIN EIGELSTEIN 147 III' in pencil verso.
Bohnen 30 (there still dated "circa 1922" without knowledge of monogram and dating)
We would like to thank Uli Bohnen, Aachen, for kind, additional information.
Formerly Dr. W. Jüttner, Cologne; Private collection, North Rhine-Westphalia
In this little cityscape Franz Seiwert records the environment in which the working class lived within an area shaped by industry. Brown and greyish white tenements are grouped around two courts; the sawtoothed roof of a factory rises up behind them. The opening between the two buildings provides a view of the Rhine, depicted as a light-green stripe with a little steamboat. Smoking chimneys stretch into the grey sky in the middle ground and background. The scene is devoid of people and, except for a bleak-looking little tree beyond the wall dividing the courts, it contains no vegetation at all.
Seiwert has assembled this cityscape out of clearly divided geometrical shapes, as is typical for his paintings from this period. However, this composition is less static; individual elements, such as the tree, windows and the trails of smoke, are all painted with a loose and free brushstroke and thus animate the image to a certain extent.
Seiwert also depicted similar industrial landscapes in the paintings “SR” and “Haldenlandschaft mit zwei Arbeitern” (Bohnen 27 and 29), which were created around 1922; however, these differ in that they integrate the figures of workers into the composition.