Walter Bertelsmann - Unterweser mit Wolken (Lower Weser with Clouds), 1920s

Oil on canvas

50 x 70 cm / framed 57 x 80 cm
19 x 27 inch / framed 22 x 31 inch

signed bottom left: “W. Bertelsmann”

– with handmade craftsman's frame –

N 9460

About the work

With this painting, Walter Bertelsmann was successful in creating a painting with an entirely special atmosphere and quality. The artist captures the shimmering play of the sea in spontaneous, loose brushwork in an Impressionist manner and a bright, sensitively nuanced, primarily blue colouring. The painting originated along the Lower Weser, obviously with a view of its outfall into the North Sea.
The waves dance jauntily on the water, and one feels as if one can nearly hear its gentle lapping. In the remote distance one can distinguish two sailing ships, the silhouettes of which attempt to fix the eye of the viewer. The morning light sets rose-coloured accents on the water and in the sky, in which large, animated clouds bank up and pass by. Everything appears to be in movement, and this "snapshot" of the sea at the break of day to be only a fleeting, ephemeral moment.
Walter Bertelsmann is seen as an important protagonist of the second generation of Worpswede artists, and made a name for himself as a North German Impressionist. In the artist village near his hometown of Bremen, which he visited for the first time in 1893, he completed a course of training from 1902 to 1904 with the landscape artist Hans am Ende. Bertelsmann was a passionate painter of water and captured the Elbe and the Weser Rivers, as well as the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas.

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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Walter Bertelsmann, Lower Weser with Clouds, 1920s, 50 x 70 cm / framed 57 x 80 cm, N 9460
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