Saturday, January 18, 2020

"Through the Water" by von Zugel

"Through the Water," by Heinrich Zugel, is an excellent example of the Modern German School," writes the Magazine of Art in 1911

Study for "Through the Water" 1908, by Heinrich von Zugel,

"The dominant notes in the color scheme are blue and gray. The canvas is large and the pigment held in big, ample masses. The oxen are great, strong brutes, well drawn and admirably painted. The little boy on the back of the off-ox seems more of an incident than a factor in the composition. He is, however, a real boy, vital and with definite personality."

"Through the Water" 1908, by Heinrich von Zugel, formerly at the Metropolitan Museum
This is one of a collection of paintings by contemporary German artists which was exhibited in New York, Boston and Chicago in 1909, having been brought to this country through the efforts and generosity of Mr. Hugo Resinger, of New York, with the object of increasing here the knowledge and appreciation of German Art of which he is both a connoisseur and patron. It was acquired then by the Museum."

The painting no longer appears to be at the Metropolitan Museum.



Bill Wilson said...

Beautiful work. But, one thing I feel, and wonder if others would agree or not, does the study seem stronger than the final? I'd love to see the final in color to be more fair. It just seems that the oxen are more dynamic and the overall brushwork stronger. To be fair, it seems common that we artists lament that our studies often present a boldness that sometimes gets lost in the final painting. That being said, however, I love the all three paintings.

Loretta said...

I couldn't agree with you more that studies contain a vitality difficult to reproduce.
I do works in what I call "leftover paint" and the work is free, unrestrained and holds charm for me. This would be after study, after the labored studio work; some sort of dessert. But is it just?


Roberto Quintana said...

I don’t know if the final version is ‘better’ than the preliminary sketch. It’s not really a fair comparison without seeing the originals. If I click on James’ photos, they come up in my browser and I can easily scroll back and forth, comparing the two images quite nicely. The first thing I notice is how similar they really are, not exact, but very close, as if traced for transfer and then modified on the reproduced image. All the proportions are very faithful with only slight variations. Most of the difference seems to be in the over all tonal relationships, the sketch has much less contrasts in its value range giving a more atmospheric or light-filled effect, but this could be a result of image degradation in reproduction.
There’s bound to be some loss of spontaneity in the process of working up a sketch. The trick is to improve on the passage so it works in its new home while maintaining a sense of freshness and spontaneity, without ‘overworking’ the image, which I think von Zugal has done very well. -RQ

Ted B. said...

Ahh, ...the lost art of riding cattle.

Timothy Bollenbaugh said...

Roberto, you make an excellent point—really, each, the study and the final, are individual and fresh, if I understand your approach.