"Spätsommer im Moor - Herbstlandschaft am Moorkanal (Late Summer on the Moor - Autumnal Landscape on the Moor Canal)", ca. 1922
Oil on canvas
31.5 x 47.24 in / framed 44.49 x 59.84 in
Signed bottom left "OModersohn"
Über das Werk
In between his frequent travels, Otto Modersohn lived and worked chiefly in the village of Fischerhude (from 1908 until he passed in 1943), in which he settled following the death of his second wife Paula Modersohn-Becker, who suffered a fatal embolism giving birth to their daughter Mathilde in 1907 at the age of just 31. It was here that he struck up a close friendship with the fellow artist Heinrich Breling whose daughter Louise he married in 1909. Modersohn had become acquainted with the area in 1896, whilst undertaking a walking tour together with Fritz Overbeck around the village of Fischerhude, which lies only some 20 kilometres south-east of Worpswede: "We explored in all directions and were impressed by its authentic character. Everywhere were thatched cottages and barns, and sturdy oak trees. The scenery became even more interesting as we approached the banks of the Wümme, around the old water mill - so much so, that Overbeck remarked that we had erred in our choice of Worpswede, as Fischerhude surpassed it in painterly attractions. We drew until our sketch books were full."(1) In the “Autumnal Landscape on the Moor Canal" the growing two-dimensionality and consolidation of form, a feature of Modersohn's work since 1920, becomes ever more pronounced. The compositional clarity of the largely geometrically structured landscape evokes the atmosphere of the real landscape far more impressively than a lavishly detailed representation. In 1922, the artist couple Friedrich Ahlers-Hestermann und Alexandra Povórina (Alexandra von Povorinsky) spent a few months in Fischerhude, before in September of that year travelling to the Franconian town of Wertheim to conduct further artistic research. Here Modersohn began studying the works of Paul Cézanne, which found expression in his increasingly evident departure from representations of nature. In 1924 Otto Modersohn postulated self-confidently: "...for the only true painter is he, who, imbued with nature, freely re-imagines it - art is the act of recreating on the basis of nature." (2)
(1) Otto Modersohn quoted from: Christian Modersohn, Vorwort, in: Otto Modersohn - Fischerhude 1908 - 1943, ed. Otto Modersohn Museum, Fischerhude, Otto Modersohn Museum 28.8. - 1.11.1992, 14.3. - 6.6. 1993, Bremen 1993, 11-13, here: 11
(2) Otto Modersohn quoted from: Jörd Paczkowski; Wie köstlich ... der anregende künstlerische Verkehr! Ein bisher kaum bekannter Freundeskreis um Otto Modersohn in Wertheim und Würzburg und dessen Bedeutung für sein weiteres Werk, in: Otto Modersohn - Fischerhude 1908 - 1943, ed. Otto Modersohn Museum, Fischerhude, Otto Modersohn Museum 28.8. - 1.11.1992, 14.3. - 6.6. 1993, Bremen 1993, 85-88, here: 86.