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Walter Bertelsmann

"Abendwolke (Evening Cloud)", 1903

Oil on cardboard

37 x 45,5 cm / framed 47 x 56 cm  ″

Monogrammed bottom left in red oil paint, dated "W.B. 03"
Signed beneath in pencil "W. Bertelsmann"
Titled on both sides top left "Abendwolke"
Signed on both sides top right, labelled "W. Bertelsmann, Worpswede" (underlined)

N 9312


About the work

Walter Bertelsmann had given up his job as a senior director in his father's Bremen-based firm, which traded primarily in coffee, tea and tobacco both at home and abroad to dedicate himself to painting, having first become a student of Wilhelm Otto by 1898/99. In 1902 Bertelsmann then moved to Worpswede in order to take instruction under Hans am Ende and to further his artistic development.
A close friendship soon blossomed between am Ende and Bertelsmann, which endured until his teacher's premature death, after he eventually succumbed in 1918 to an injury sustained in the war. Until 1910, Bertelsmann's painting style remained noticeably under the influence of his elder Worpswede colleagues, despite his preference for a markedly brighter palette.
During the course of the ensuing years, Bertelsmann himself cultivated a strong predilection for painting at the water's edge. Among his favourite motifs were the Lower Weser, the North Sea coast, the islands and the harbours of Bremen and Hamburg. His increasingly light and atmospheric paintings were redolent of the water, the clouds and the winds, and the vast expanses of the North. Yet Bertelsmann also remained loyal to his beloved Worpswede landscape. Together with his wife Erna, he lived in a half-timbered house acquired in 1918, where he built his studio in an adjoining disused cowshed. Until well into old age (Bertelsmann died in 1963 in Worpswede) he never lost his fascination for the moors, the Worpswede countryside and the view across the Weyerberg in the evening twilight.
(Christa Neher)


Further works by Walter Bertelsmann

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