Blick auf den Untersee
Oil on fibreboard. 39 x 47 cm. Framed. Signed and dated 'Ad. Dietrich 1953' in black lower left. - In fine condition with fresh colours. Few minute losses of colour to upper edge.
The beautiful landscape painting “Blick auf den Untersee” by Swiss painter Adolf Dietrich depicts the small, far-western part of Lake Constance from an elevated vantage point. The so-called Lower Lake became the most important scenic point of reference for the landscapes of this late-blooming painter who felt a close bond with nature. Working from precise pencil drawings – and, later, often black-and-white photographs – he took in the lake as a panorama. In contrast to the water’s seemingly unlimited expanse of water, the shore and trees of the foreground are depicted in a close-up view. The stimulating and precisely detailed juxtaposition of near and far, closed and expansive, is characteristic of Dietrich’s entire oeuvre. Here two bare, leafless tree trunks run vertically all the way across the picture, serving to link these two levels of the image. The landscape derives its charm from its colour scheme – a two-part harmony made up of light green and a bold blue that becomes paler towards the horizon. The landscape is strangely lifeless: there are no boats, no fishermen, no farmers and no children playing in the meadow. The authors of Dietrich’s catalogue raisonné see the desertion and emptiness of his late work as a reflection of the circumstances in his own life: the increasing isolation and loneliness of the unmarried painter.
This anchoring within the context of naive art continued after the end of the Second World War, and today Dietrich is considered the most important Swiss naive artist. However, the increasing demand for his work and his participation in exhibitions in London and New York was also due to his artistic development based on tendencies from the New Objectivity.
Formerly private collection, Baden-Württemberg; thenceforth in family property
Singen/Offenburg 1953 (Ekkehardschule/Europahaus), Malerei im Hegau und am Untersee mit Plastik + Graphik, cat. no. 32; Singen/Bregenz 1978 (Rathaus/Künstlerpalais Thurn und Taxis), Kunst um den Bodensee 1940 - 1960, cat. no. 49 with colour ill. on cover