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Russian Forest | Russisches Wald by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

Russian Forest | Russisches Wald by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

Gilden's Art Gallery (IFPDA)



Edition Size: -

Sheet Size: 35.5 x 53.1 cm

Reference: Schapire H. 230.


Condition: Good

Details — Click to read

Rottluff, Germany 1884 – 1976 Berlin (German)

Title: Russian Forest | Russisches Wald, 1918

Technique: Original Hand Signed Woodcut on Wove Paper

Paper size: 35.5 x 53.1 cm. / 14 x 20.9 in.
Image size: 20.1 x 26.1 cm. / 7.9 x 10.3 in.

Additional Information: This original woodcut is hand signed in pencil by the artist “S. Rottluff” at the lower right margin.
The printer was Fritz Voigt, Berlin.
The sheet bears the work number [Werknummer] 1829.

It was in 1905, whilst in Dresden and enrolled on an architecture course that Karl Schmidt-Rottluff began to experiment with the woodcut technique. The technique itself is synonymous with Germanic artistic traditions. The tactile essence and fragility of the medium as well as the reductive nature of carving in relief was likely a habitual calm for the artist’s nerves during his time on the Eastern front and following his return to Berlin. Whilst the material may be soft and conquerable, the stark black inked images are robust, sharp and dominant. The artist’s own response to the war can be seen clearly even in mundane scenes of civilian life. Schmidt-Rottluff proclaimed, “I really feel pressure to create something that is as strong as possible. The war has really swept away everything from the past.” His woodcuts embody this resilient spirit.

Literature: Schapire, R. & Rathenau, E. (1987). Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: Das Graphische Werk Bis 1923. Berlin: Vormals Euphorion Verlag.
Reference: Schapire H. 230.

Condition: Very good condition. Pinpoint foxing across the sheet. Soft creasing across the sheet. Some tape remains, verso.


The Artist

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

German painter and printmaker Karl Schmidt-Rottluff was born in Rottluff, now known as Chemnitz in December 1884 and was famed for his expressionist landscapes and nudes. He started his academic life by studying architecture, but, after meeting some other artists (Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Fritz Bleyl), he became one of the founders of expressionist art group Die Brücke (The Bridge). He served in the army 1915-1918, moving afterwards to Berlin, where he met his wife, Emy Frisch and settled for the remainder of his life.

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