"Päonien, Feuerlilien und Rittersporn (Peonies, Fire-Lillies and Delphiniums)", 1942
Oil on coloured drawing paper
Photographic expertise Prof. Friedel, G. Münter and J. Eichner Stiftung, Munich
- with handmade craftsman's frame -
By virtue of her affiliation to the artist movement "Der Blaue Reiter" ("The Blue Rider”) and her longstanding love affair with Wassiliy Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter (1877–1962) ranks amongst the leading protagonists of German Expressionism. From 1909 to 1915, she both lived and worked together with Kandinsky in their "Blue House" in Murnau. Here they were often visited by Franz Marc, Alexej von Jawlensky and Marianne von Werefkin. After residing variously in Berlin, Ascona and Paris during the 1920s, the artist eventually settled down permanently in Murnau. In addition to her pre–occupation with the Upper Bavarian landscape and its inhabitants, floral still–life still remained a key motif for Münter throughout her life. In this present painting, which Gabiel Münter completed in 1942 in oil on black drawing paper, the viewer is confronted with the decorative motif of an opulent, blossoming floral arrangement in a dark–blue earthenware vase. The dark pictorial ground allows the colours of this close–up depiction of peonies, fire–lillies and delphiniums to glow radiantly. At the same, it considerably heightens the expressive impact of the representation, recalling a glass painting – a medium of which Münter also availed herself in her output. Reduced coloured planes bounded by bold contours, the restriction to a few contrasting coloured zones and a rhythmic arrangement of the elements characterise Münter's visual language, all of which are given powerful expression in this late work of the artist. Her concentration on clear forms and the placing of the motif in the immediate foreground allow the flowers, which are most probably taken from the artist's own garden, to appear almost emblematic and monumental.
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