"Heimkehr vom Heuen am Gailenberg (Returning from Hay Making on the Gailenberg)", 1933
Oil on canvas
17.32 x 20.47 cm / framed 25.2 x 28.35 in
Signed bottom right, dated "O Modersohn 33"
Expertise Rainer Noeres, March 6, 2016,
Otto Modersohn Museum, Fischerhude
- with craftsman's frame -
Über das Werk
A busy late summer's day draws to a close. The warm light lends the painting a deeper tone. The day's work is done. The last bails of hay have been expertly piled onto a haystack. This small ensemble - we recognise Louise Modersohn in a green dress, leading the way, behind her Ulrich und Christian Modersohn with the rake - is ambling down the hill on their homeward journey to Modersohn's house on the Gailenberg. Radiating in the background are the soft violet, blue and brown hues of the Iseler Mountain.
Modersohn painted this picture in late September 1933, shortly before he left the Gailenberg in October to spend the autumn and winter in Fischerhuden. Highly productive spring and summer months lay behind him, in which he completed some 129 landscapes and 43 floral stilllifes on the Gailenberg. On October 19, 1933, Otto Modersohn furnished an appraisal of his time in Fischerhude in his diary: "Artistically I prefer the Allgäu. The raw material is more peculiar, which is crucially importance. Clearly differentiation along the pictorial plane: sky and earth, object against the sky. The distance just a mark, and in terms of form and colour without significance. Very important in mountains, often the main feature. As a result richer colours and forms. And I especially love the blue, pink and purple hues in the distance. The Allgäu brings fresh inspiration, and new momentum. An artist should not dwell too long in the same place (Worpswede) - desensitisation. It dulls the creativity. The magic is gone."