An exceptional genre scene of a German landscape under a nearly cloudless sky, a large wood and stone chalet is tucked into a grove of pine trees overlooking the blue lake below. Mountains loom in the distance while a hiker and his dog chat with a seated woman, her two goats resting in the plush green grass. The level of rich color and incredible detail in the scene are remarkable with precise and tiny brush strokes bringing the entire scene to life. The painting is signed along the lower edge “H. Seefisch 1850” and it is housed in a contemporary gilt frame. It includes the provenance papers from its private purchase in 1971 from Frank S. Schwarz & Son, Inc., who acquired it in the late 1960’s from the Library Company who had received the painting as a bequeathment from the collection of Dr. James Rush in 1867.
Born in Potsdam in 1810, Hermann Ludwig Seefisch began working in Wilhelm Wachs’ studio in Berlin in 1832. He exhibited at Berlin Academy, Kunstausstelling in 1836, later traveling to Paris to study under Louis Etienne Watelet (French, 1780-1866). After returning to Germany, he settled permanently in Berlin until his death in 1879.
Literature & Further Reading:
E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. XII, Gründ, 2006, p. 920; one entry notes a painting of the same dimensions “Chalet by a Mountain Lake” dated 1850 having sold in New York for 3500 USD on May 3 1979
”Malerwerte des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts”, Vol II, F.V. Boetticher, H. Schmidt & C. Gunther, Hofheim am Taunus, Frankfort, 1969, p. 628
Measurements: 35 1/2” H x 45 1/2” W x 3” D [frame]; 27 1/8” H x 38” W [canvas]
Condition Report: Professionally conserved in 1969, at which point it was relined, cleaned and minor losses were inpainted. Presently the painting remains in very good and bright condition; the surface has light craquelure throughout and a few traces of gilt on the far right edge of the painting. It might brighten slightly from being cleaned again, but this is not necessary and should be postponed as long as possible.