Siegward Sprotte - Rittersporn, 1977

Gouache on Japanese paper

37 x 29 cm / framed 56 x 45 cm
14 x 11 inch / framed 22 x 17 inch

Signed and dated bottom left "Sprotte 77"

- in a handmade craftsman’s frame with non-glare glass -

N 9415

Provenance:

Estate of the artist

About the work

The floral still life by Siegward Sprotte presents itself in full tones extending from brightly radiant to deep and dark blue, accompanied by other blooms and leaves in a subdued palette between blue-green and yellow-green. Virtually detached, individual blossoms of larkspur float with their black eyes against the neutral background of the paper and draw the attention of the viewer.

Paintings like these would have been inconceivable in Sprotte’s work without his lifelong friendship with Karl Foerster (1874–1970). The painter belonged to the more intimate circle around the successful gardener and garden philosopher, who had transformed 6,000 square metres of pasture in Potsdam-Bornim into an exuberant garden kingdom in 1910. Especially the perennials aroused his interest, including larkspur, which was his particular favourite, and the first gentian blue strain of which he gave the name of the painter Arnold Böcklin. His book Der neue Rittersporn. Geschichte einer Leidenschaft (The new larkspur. The story of a passion) appeared in 1929.

In this bouquet by Siegward Sprotte too, these blue blossoms – the symbol of the wish for an intimate affinity with nature since the Romantic era – play a special role. Their artistic execution in gouache on washi paper oscillates masterfully between representationalism and abstraction, between the precision of the motifs and pure painting.

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, from 2019 to 2021 senior editor at DCV, Dr. Cantz’sche Verlagsgesellschaft, Berlin. Numerous publications on the art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

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Siegward Sprotte, Rittersporn, 1977, 37 x 29 cm / framed 56 x 45 cm, N 9415
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