Otto Modersohn - In Worpswede
Oil on artist's board, laid down on fibreboard 57.2 x 40.5 cm Framed. Monogrammed 'O M' in red brown lower right, dated 'IX. 03.' in brown lower left. - Lower edge and corners somewhat bumped. A few minte losses of colour and minor retouches.
In this impression from Worpswede, the painter offers an atmospheric as well as suggestive detail of his motif: a rough village path in a slightly hilly terrain featuring a mature group of trees opens on to farmsteads lying somewhat in the distance while, at the side of the path, a little girl in a red scarf looks at him attentively. A farmer-like figure can be recognised in the open gate of the wide building with a gable roof in the depth of the picture, while a woman in dark clothing in front bends to the left over a form that is only hinted at - perhaps the pram of the child. Modersohn does not articulate any particulars, all is summarily and nonetheless simply and effectively described. Even today, everything appears animated by an emotional bond to this place, by a personal look onto given facts, a patch of “home” and, with it, by a notion of virtue expressing a feeling of pristine, pastoral security. The simplified perspective and the grand lines of the composition as well as the distributed accents of colour and brightness constitute the essence of the motif. Through striking abbreviations and contractions of forms and surfaces as well as a diffuse application of brushstrokes, Modersohn professes his devotion to colour and its individualised representation. Modersohn had spent the preceding period on Amrum with Paula Modersohn and his daughter Elsbeth from his first marriage. At the time this painting was created, in September 1903, Modersohn recorded in his journal: “This summer, particularly since Amrum (5 August), has brought me the most important insights since I have been painting ... my whole standpoint has become different. Personality is joined with nature; a proper feeling for nature is also something personal. Those are the most essential facets of a good, grand painting; all of them grow out of the proper relationship to nature.” (cited in: exhib. cat., Otto Modersohn, Otto Modersohn Museum, Bremen 1993, p. 299).
We would like to thank Rainer Noeres, Otto-Modersohn-Museum, Fischerhude, for confirmatory and additional information.
Private possession, Lower Saxony; since then in family possession, North-Rhine Westphalia
Worpswede/Fischerhude/Bremerhaven 1989 (Kunsthalle/Otto-Modersohn-Museum/Kunsthalle), Otto Modersohn in Worpswede 1890-1907