Our gaze sweeps across the fields and meadows of the gently undulating hilly landscape of Angeln on the Flensburg Fjord. In this idyllic region, shaped by the wind and ocean, and caressed by sunlight and air, Erich Heckel had maintained his summer residence since 1919. A peasant's cottage in the small village of Osterholz, it provided him with the opportunity to retreat from his turbulent and hectic life in Berlin once a year. The natural environment and landscape on the Baltic coast were a key and constant source of inspiration and motifs throughout his artistic career. In this present paintings the limpid sunshine bathes the deserted scene in a riot of colour, the trees and bushes are sculpted by the prevailing sea wind, and, on the right of the painting, nestles one of the region's characteristic thatched cottages.
Overarching the scene is the vast sky, replete with ephemeral tufts of rolling clouds which Heckel has elevated to the chief protagonists of this composition. The elemental strength and beauty of the largely pristine natural environment of the North-German landscape of Schleswig-Holstein is impressively captured in this pictorial creation, which is based on a watercolour from 1927, featuring the same scene. Henkel's decision to rework this motif in 1948 may be related to stay on the Flensburg Fjord in the late summer of 1947, whilst visiting his wife Siddi's relatives.
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