The painting originates from Pechstein’s first stay he spent in Switzerland with the intent to paint there. There exists a watercolour of the same subject dated the same year. (Information in an expertise by Max K. Pechstein dating 22. 3. 1995) In Berlin, 1919 Pechstein made acquaintance of the Valaisian physician Dr. Walter Minnich (1864-1936), then living in Montreux. He should become a faithful collector, supporter and friend until the end of his life. This friendship led Pechstein to a series of trips to Switzerland, starting 1922, during which numerous views of the Swiss landscapes should be created. Probably Dr. Minnich acquired our painting right after it’s creation. In a very typical way for the expressionnist composition, the foreground looms majestically, here one of the numerous traditional haystacks. This haystack rests on mushroomlike stone-pillars that are disigned to protect the stored harvest from mice. The haystack in the foreground dominates even the 4000 metre-peaks of the Matter-valley in the background and makes them seem small und puny. These mountains are furthermore partly hidden by a dark, second haystack in the back-light, nevertheless the mountains are to be noticed over the whole width of the painting, beside, beneath, above the haystacks – acting in the background. The warm light of sun-set shines on the derelict, russet stack, resting on grey granit rocks, under a high sky full of sulfurous clouds and the snow-covered, blue mountains. Hermann Max Pechstein truly raised a unique pictorial monument for these haystacks so typical for the Matter-valley.
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