Little landscape near Kallmünz
  • Gabriele Münter
  • Berlin 1877 - 1962 Murnau
  • Little landscape near Kallmünz, 1903
  • Oil on canvas, cut down by the artist herself
  • estate stamp on the verso from the Gabriele Münter and Johannes Eichner foundation, Munich, with numbering: L 624
  • 90 × 165 mm
Estate of the artist
Sabine Helms Fine Arts, Munich
Private collection, Munich
Kochel am See, Franz Marc Museum: Schöne Aussichten, Der Blaue Reiter und der Impressionismus, March 22nd - June 19th, 2015, cat. p. 52 (ill.)

This small-scale plein air study by Gabriele Münter is a very early example of similar works that were popular in the circle of later Blaue Reiter artists after the turn of the century. Franz Marc and, more than anyone, Wassily Kandinsky created such miniature paintings as well, the latter often in artistic rivalry with Gabriele Münter. These studies clearly still stand in the Impressionist tradition, but simultaneously announce the beginning of a German offshoot into modernity, which soon culminated in Expressionism.

The small format thus does not necessarily signify a loss of space, but rather these oil studies are to be seen as full-fledged paintings. Gabriele Münter therefore offers the beholder of this image a wide view over a lake, with trees and bushes on the bank, back to the foothills of the Alps. In doing so, she reduces the surfaces to monochromatic colour fields, which are disconcertingly reflected in the water in the foreground. This move towards independence of colour and its effects can also be observed in Kandinsky and Marc’s works from the same period. The pure representation of nature was abandoned in favour of their personal interpretation of it.

In the summer of 1903, Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky traveled together from Munich to Kallmünz, a picturesque village in the district of Regensburg, to work in nature. They finally became a couple during this period and got engaged.

The canvas for this study was probably cut crudely into this shape before painting, and was then tacked onto a small board for the artist to work.