Monday, November 29, 2010

Artworks I'd Steal: Carl Spitzweg

Source: Wikipedia, the original can be found at the Museum of the State of Hessen.

Romanticism goes Gary Larson.
Carl Spitzweg is well known for his paintings that depict the bourgeois in his natural habitat as well as romantic landscapes and many people dismiss his work as kitsch. But if you look closely, you'll find that he was a keen observer of humans and their little follies and weaknesses. He had a way of painting them that makes his pictures idyllic at first glance, but he's very gently poking fun at the things he's showing without ever being rude or cruel about it.

As a librarian, I like his Bookworm of course, but Der Schmetterlingsj├Ąger (The Butterfly Hunter) is my favourite. I just love the expression on the man's face - those butterflies would clearly be a gem in his collection. But I bet that in a second he will look at his tiny little net, realize that he will never catch them and that no-one will ever believe him (the butterflies are really enormous, it's not a matter of perspective). It's a scene that just screams for a Gary Larson-ish subtitle. "Gottlieb had a sneaking suspicion that he should have brought the shotgun".

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