Inspired by the correspondence and dairies of her predecessor, the painter Paula Modersohn-Becker, and encouraged by her fellow student Walter Müller, the young Bremen-born Lisel Oppel settled in nearby Worpswede after completing her studies at the schools of applied arts in Bremen and Munich in 1919. Born into a bourgeois family, she remained loyal to this artists' village - save protracted and artistically fruitful stays in Switzerland, France, Spain, Italy, Morocco and Egypt - until her death in 1960. Originally christened Anna Amalie Elisabeth Oppel, Lisel Oppel belonged to the so-called second generation of Worpswede artists; her versatile painterly oeuvre combined the typical Worpswede subjects with the expressive tendencies of 1920s and the luminous colours she discovered on her many travels in the south.
Oppel's main artistic focus - portraits and people working, flowers and gardens and her perennial pictures of children - crystallized above all after the Second World War. As evidenced in this present work "Lantern Childen at the Moor Ditch", which features a motif popular both within the artist's body of work, and within that of Worpswede artists such as Otto Modersohn and Paula Modersohn-Becker before her. A small group of girls holding red, yellow and green lanterns are just about to cross a narrow bridge over a moor ditch. Dusk is already drawing in and under the dull overcast sky, the coloured lights reflected in the water gleam brightly against the brownish-green patina enveloping the surrounding landscape. With consummate artistry, the painter captures the atmospheric intensity of the scene, and translates it into an evocative and impressive pictorial composition.
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