"Frühling im Moor (Wollgras) (Spring on the Moor (Cotton Grass))", 1940
Oil on canvas
19.69 x 28.35 in / framed 29.53 x 33.46 in
Signed bottom right, dated "O. Modersohn 40"
Expertise Rainer Noeres, August 28, 2013,
Otto Modersohn Museum, Fischerhude
- with craftsman's frame -
Über das Werk
1940 - his Worpsweder era, and the artistic resurgence it inspired lie many years behind him. Yet here Otto Modersohn, the passionate landscape painter, revisits his representation of the Devil's Moor, recalling the style of his early works both in terms of motif and composition. The rectilinear horizon bisects the painting into two sections. A diagonal path and the flanking moor canal draw the viewer's gaze into the depths of the canvas.
Nothing impedes our view onto the flat, seemingly boundless landscape; only a huddle of small cottages and a cluster of trees obtrude tentatively from the low-lying plain. A tiny figure appears amidst the vastness of the moor, its only purpose seemingly to emphasise the bleakness of the expansive landscape. And arching over this scene is the firmament with its magnificent, towering cloud formations, which, as if driven by the wind, sweep across the landscape. Painted some 3 years before the 75-year-old artist's death, the work revisits a central motif of Worpsweder landscape painting. Capturing the ephemeral interplay of the rapidly shifting flurries of cloud as they chase across the sky was a popular motif among all the Worpsweder painters. The blossoming cotton grass and its characteristic white heads appearing like thousands of balls of cotton wool dancing over the brown moor soil herald the first signs of spring.