Otto Modersohn - Frühling im Moor (Wollgras) (Frühling im Moor (Wollgras) (Spring on the Moor (Cotton Grass))), 1940

Oil on canvas

50 x 72 cm / framed 75 x 85 cm
19 x 28 inch / framed 29 x 33 inch

Signed bottom right, dated "O Modersohn 40"
Expertise Rainer Noeres, August 28, 2013,
Otto Modersohn Museum, Fischerhude

- with craftsman's frame -

N 9239

About the work

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.

Text authored and provided by Dr. Doris Hansmann, Art historian

Studies of art history, theater, film and television, English and Romance Languages at the University of Cologne, doctorated in 1994. Research assistant at the Art Museum Düsseldorf. Lecturer and project manager at Wienand Verlag, Cologne. Freelance work as an author, editor and book producer for publishers and museums in Germany and abroad. From 2011 chief editor at Wienand Verlag, since 2018 senior editor at DCV, Dr. Cantz’sche Verlagsgesellschaft, Berlin. Numerous publications on the art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Otto Modersohn, Frühling im Moor (Wollgras) (Spring on the Moor (Cotton Grass)), 1940, 50 x 72 cm / framed 75 x 85 cm, N 9239
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