The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, June 23, 2018

First Museum Exhibition in Switzerland of Work by Eccentric Landscape Artist Carl Wilhelm Kolbe
Carl Wilhelm Kolbe, Auch ich war in Arkadien, ca 1801. Etching, 38,9 x 51 cm. Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie, Dessau.

ZURICH.- The Kunsthaus Zürich presents, through 28 November, Switzerland's first museum exhibition of work by eccentric landscape artist Carl Wilhelm Kolbe (1759–1835). At the centre of the show are Kolbe’s landscape engravings featuring enormous vegetation and gargantuan trees eerily stretching their boughs into the space about them, their evocative power gesturing at the Symbolists and Surrealists. The exhibition comprises some 60 pieces from the Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie Dessau together with works on loan from German and Swiss private collections.

A self-taught landscape artist and engraver who also did research in the field of linguistics, Kolbe is one of the most intriguing figures in German art at the turn of the 19th century. With his fantastical, virtually surreal landscapes, featuring woods and marshes in which flora towers above the heads of man and beast, he broke early on with the prevailing aesthetics to exert a considerable (albeit long underestimated) influence on the graphic arts of the Romantic period. Born in Berlin and trained in academic figural drawing, Kolbe was resident for much of his life in Dessau.

In Zurich Thanks to Salomon Gessner
From 1805 to 1808 Kolbe lived in Zurich, where he produced engravings based on aquarelle gouaches by Salomon Gessner, who had died in 1788 and enjoyed posthumous celebrity as a painter and poet. Kolbe lived with the late artist’s family, with whom, as he records in his autobiography, he spent three of the best years of his life. History, too, left its mark on his sojourn by the banks of the Limmat, for it was here that he learned of the collapse of the ‘Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation’. His chalk drawing of the trunk of a fantastical dead willow tree, which Kolbe produced during that period and presented to the Zürcher Künstlergesellschaft when he left Zurich, speaks of the artist's profound uncertainty about the future of his generation, and expresses both admiration and criticism of the idylls portrayed by his predecessors.

Humankind and Nature: An Imperiled Symbiosis
Kolbe’s renderings of trees are the product of his imagination: unlike the stringently composed, idealized locus amoenus of a Johann Christian Reinhart or a Joseph Anton Koch, Kolbe’s work is entirely inspired by a meticulous observation of nature. His landscapes are akin to the limitless visions of a Caspar David Friedrich; and although done in a different medium, Kolbe’s engravings, with their creepily intimate regard, evoke the imperiled symbiosis of humankind and nature. These pioneers of the modern landscape are distinguished by their radical self-consciousness in the face of nature, which put paid to all of the conventions of their day.

Enthralled by Woodlands
Kolbe, an impassioned walker, typically spent his mornings at the easel, and his afternoons out of doors, where in turn he would think up ideas for compositions. His landscapes fall into two basic categories: the veneration of the idyllic, nurtured on the classicizing ideal of a fantasy Arcadia; and the wild and lonely forest, at the centre of which stands a solitary tree or copse. Kolbe worked with sketches made regularly from memory so as to capture the landscape’s lively genius loci in his engravings, his declared goal in every depiction of nature.

Self-Taught Master Engraver
Kolbe’s sylvan landscapes are the culmination of a movement in print-making that had reached its zenith in the last third of the 18th century before the genre went rapidly out of fashion. An outsider and a maverick, Kolbe made an enormous contribution to his chosen medium, and the art world had to wait for Samuel Palmer (1805-1881) of England and Rodolphe Bresdin (1822-1885) of France, with their visionary landscapes, to produce prints on the same level. Like Kolbe, the two later artists were both self-taught master engravers.

The Kunsthaus Zürich | Carl Wilhelm Kolbe | Anhaltische Gemäldegalerie Dessau |

Today's News

September 13, 2010

Landmark Exhibition of Siqueiros Landscape Paintings at the Museum of Latin American Art

A Remarkable Roman Bronze Helmet, Found with a Metal Detector, to Be Offered at Christie's

Pablo Picasso Graphics Museum Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Changes Name

Medal Awarded to Carpathia Crew for Rescue of Titanic Survivors to Sell at Bonhams

Tom Leighton "Appropiation of Space" Opens at Cynthia Corbett Gallery

Origins and Mysteries of the Inca's Gold Explored in New Exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris

Sotheby's Announces Third Offering From The James S. Copley Library

Art of the 1980s: A Düsseldorf Perspective at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen

Gallery's Detective Work Shows Two Portraits Painted at the Same Time

Works by Ryan Leigh, Sam Knowles and Nick Bailey at Simon Oldfield Gallery

Strong Group of Works by The Glasgow Boys to Open Sotheby's London Sale of Scottish Pictures

"Notorious & Notable" Fashion Exhibit Pays Homage to New York Style Icons

Bay Area Artist Nellie King Solomon Exhibits at Brian Gross Fine Art

Solo Exhibition of Photographic Project by Andrzej Maciejewski Opens at Sticks Cultural Centre

New Art Collection Arrives at Four Seasons Hotel in Washington

Elements, Objects and Groupings by Jean-Pascal Flavien at Galerie Michel Rein

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Presents U.S. Debut Exhibition by Spanish Artist Jordi Alcaraz

Pedro Barateiro's "Theatre of Hunters" at Kunsthalle Basel

First Museum Exhibition in Switzerland of Work by Eccentric Landscape Artist Carl Wilhelm Kolbe

Second Solo Exhibition for Eric Fertman at Susan Inglett Gallery

Twenty Works on Canvas and Paper by Joan Mitchell at Manny Silverman Gallery

New Works by Jennifer Steinkamp at Lehmann Maupin

Retrospective Exhibition Marks the Centennial of Morris Graves' Birthday

Faith Ringgold's Paintings of the 1960s are the Focus of an Exhibition

The Meadows Museum Presents El Greco's Monumental Painting, Pentecost

A Year in the Painting Life of Joan Snyder at Cuningham Gallery

Duncan Miller Gallery Shows Both Sides of Ansel Adams Dispute

"Nueva York" Turns Lens South to New York Hispanic Roots

Tate Announces First Major Retrospective of Joan Miró in Fifty Years

Hot Dogs, Lobbies, Football and Ouagadougou at PDNB Gallery

European Abstraction Post World War II Opens at Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Tallest Free-Standing Bronze in London to Be Installed on Tuesday

British Museum Gets $38 Million Gift from John Sainsbury

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

Picasso to Crown Kunsthaus Zürich Exhibition Program in 2010

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful