Ferdinand Brunner “Zypressen” (Castel Gandolfo), oil on canvas, signed, 1898
Signed lower left and dated „Ferdinand Adam Brunner“, 1898_x000D_on the reverse side stamped number of “Künstlerhauses”, Vienna 1898/1229
This painting radiates a great serenity and almost forces the beholder to pause. The gaze graces over a wide rising, following the way through the fields to a walled stair, resting onto a group of townswomen only to be drawn further into the picture to an enclosed garden. The way is framed by slender cypresses.
It is a humble motif that was captured on canvas by Ferdinand Brunner. The park-like elevation near Castel Gandolfo is located in the south of Rome. There, toping over the Albano lake, was the summer residence of the Roman popes and Brunner paid this place a visit during his Italy trip in 1896/97.
Almost accidently the painter opens this scene in front of us: the terrace-like terrain with a wide view of the Albano lake in the distance, the sky above it. The only spot of colour is the group of women.
With the composition of this painting, the only 28 years old Brunner reveals his whole genius. The tall-grown cypresses in the left half of the painting form a contra point to the horizontal focused motif. In a true virtuous manner, Brunner catches simple details like the rocky underground which colours can be found again in the wall, or the inconspicuous wild flowers and the sandy path.
Alas it is the breaking cloud cover and the diffuse lighting in the sky that lend this painting an almost mystical aura and enforce the impression of a clarified serenity.
Ferdinand Brunner (Vienna 1870 -1945 Vienna) was born in Vienna in 1870 and began his apprenticeship as a painter at the age of 14. From 1891, he studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts under Eduard von Lichtenfels. Already during this time, he received all the awards the academy had to offer. In 1901, Brunner became a member of the artists’ cooperative (Wiener Künstlerhaus) and subsequently exhibited at international art exhibitions, for example in Düsseldorf or in Munich’s Glaspalast (glass palace). He was awarded the great gold “Staatsmedaille” (state medal) and, in 1922, the title of professor. Brunner died in Vienna in 1945.
Very early on, Brunner committed himself to the landscape as his preferred motif. With his depictions of simple farmsteads in Upper and Lower Austria and skilful tree representations in his typical shades of green, he is a master of modest subjects. They always invite the viewer to stay and contemplate. The artist consistently went his own way and created a large following by perfecting his technique and his unagitated repertoire of pictures. He unwaveringly held on to unpretentious pictorial motifs, far removed from the voluptuous colorism of the Late Impressionists or the new styles of the Secessionists.
Brunner’s paintings can be found in many public collections, such as the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna or the Lower Austrian State Museum.
Monday to Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.