LandscapeArtist(s)Herman HerzogObject Creation Date1869-1932Medium & Supportoil on canvasDimensions
24 in x 31 in (60.96 cm x 78.74 cm);35 in x 42 1/2 in x 5 3/4 in (88.9 cm x 107.95 cm x 14.61 cm)Credit LineGift of Walston S. Brown in memory of Clarence S. Brown, Class of 1876Label copy
President's House object Summary
Hermann Herzog was born in Bremen, Germany. In 1849 he enrolled at the Art Academy in Dusseldorf. Over the next few years he continued to study landscape painting while traveling widely, including visits to Switzerland, Italy and the Pyrenees in search of subjects. His most influential teacher was Hans Gude, a Norwegian landscape painter who urged the young painter to see Norway, an important experience in his art education. Herzog became quite successful as a landscapist in Europe, counting among his patrons both Queen Vistoria and Czar Alexander.
In 1896, Herzog journeyed to the United States, eventually settling in Philadelphia. He continued to travel for landscape subjects, first heading to the American West in 1873 and continuing over the years through Utah, California, Colorado, and Nevada. Later in his life he painted southern landscapes while visiting his son in Florida.
This work by Herzog is in a style that attests to his training in a 19th enctury art academy: the paint is applied thinly, the technique is polished, and there is a quietness to the scene. A figure and some houses give a sense of scale to the landscape that unfolds below a big bluish golden sky. The green of the foliage and trees and the distant hill bathed in golden light suggest summertime, and the shadowed foreground and sun-drenched hill hint at a time near sunset.
(Christa Janecke)Subject matter
In 1849 Herman Herzog entered the Dusseldorf Art Academy and studied with Achenbach and Schirme, two painters who were known for their literal and precise style of landscape painting. This work illustrates his training in the academic tradition of landscape painting. It has a balanced composition with foreground, middleground, background and atmospheric perspective to create the illusion of spatial depth. Tree formations and sunlight direct the viewer's eye back through the painting to the faraway village scene. Herzog's realism is especially evident in the foreground scene where the pathway and foliage are painted in exact detail. Although the actual locale is not identified, this scene is reminiscent of the Hudson River School style of painting with which Herzog is also identified.Physical Description
This painting depicts a lush green countryside with an expanse of blue sky. It shows a hillside overlooking a small lake. There is a vista of fields and hills that extends beyond the lake to the horizon.
In the foreground, a woman wearing a long dress and a bonnet and carrying a walking stick and basket, walks toward the viewer along a dirt path. The path runs from a building on the far left toward the bottom of the painting. The vegetation is painted in sharp detail in dark tones of green and brown.
In the right half of the composition, there is a scene of a distant village and farms viewed through the trees on the edge of the hillside. In contrast to the shadowy wooded area, the view is bathed in bright sunlight. There is a lone bird in flight in the light blue sky that fills the top half of the painting.Primary Object ClassificationPaintingCollection AreaWesternRights
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