Karl Schmidt-Rottluff - Stillleben mit Blaudistel und Fruchtschale (Stilllife with Blue Thistle and Fruit Bowl), 1958

Watercolour on handmade paper

65 x 50 cm / framed 94 x 74 cm
25 x 19 inch / framed 37 x 29 inch

Labelled bottom left "5822"
Signed bottom right "SRottluff"

- with craftsman's frame and UV absorbing, non-reflective glass -

N 9347

About the work

This large-format stilllife vividly underscores the consummate artistry achieved by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff during the course of his long and extensive career, particularly in the medium of watercolours. With dazzling contrasts of colour, a spatially compact language of form and highly expressive brush strokes, he crafts an intriguingly detailed composition of this ornamental motif. Vibrant black contours flow around the different forms, enhancing the expressivity of the colour. The cropped towering blue thistle on the left edge of the canvas finds a perfect counterpoint in the light background shadow to the right. Compact colour zones and strident forms alternate with open transparent spaces and delicately nuanced transitions. Further highlights are furnished by the deep blue blossoms of the thistle, whose radiance and eye-like forms draw the gaze of the viewer. In contrast, the bright background intensifies the jagged silhouette of the dark leaves. This accomplished sheet is imbued with a vibrant expressivity, underscoring the undiminished creative powers of the 74-year-old expressionist, whose stilllifes and landscapes still formed the thematic focus of his late-phase output. Frequently and with great assuredness, Schmidt-Rottluff juxtaposes formal and contrasting coloured forms and objects, which defines the enduring appeal of these  compositions.
(Andreas Gabelmann)

Text authored and provided by Dr. Andreas Gabelmann, Art Historian

Dr. Andreas Gabelmann, art historian, born 1967 in Landau. Programmes of study in art history, architectural history and literature in Karlsruhe and Bamberg. 1999 Doctoral thesis on the Badenese Expressionist August Babberger (1885-1936). 2000 to 2002 Practical training at the Brücke-Museum Berlin. 2003 to 2004 Scientific staff member of the Städtisches Kunstmuseum Singen. Since 2005, active as a freelance art historian, author and curator for museums, art associations, galleries, foundations, artist estates, the press and publishing houses in Germany and Switzerland. Numerous publications on modern art with a focus on Expressionism and extending to contemporary art. Publication of the new catalogue raisonné of the printed graphic works of Erich Heckel (will appear in autumn of 2021). Lives and works in Radolfzell on Lake Constance.

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Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Stilllife with Blue Thistle and Fruit Bowl, 1958, 65 x 50 cm / framed 94 x 74 cm, N 9347
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