In the ruined castle Bösig
  • Richard Müller
  • Tschirnitz / Bohemia 1874 -1954 Dresden
  • In the ruined castle Bösig, 1904
  • Black chalk and charcoal, partly smeared and heightened with white, on brown paper
  • dated and monogramed: 13. Juli 04 - R. M.
  • cat. rais. Z 1904.10
  • 578 × 440 mm

The picturesque Ruins of Castle Bösig, north of the Ore Mountains (Erzgebirge), also known as Hrad Bezděz in Czech, have attracted artists from all over northern Europe since the Romantic period. The ruins have inspired many visual accounts, such as Adolph von Menzel‘s depiction in 1880. Nor could Richard Müller escape the charm of this partially-restored medieval castle throughout his life. Our large-format drawing from July 1904 forms the impressive prelude to a series of works created during the artist‘s numerous visits to the ruins until 1939. This first version simultaneously serves as the model for the first of two oil paintings on the subject from 1906 (Fig. 1). In his studio two years later, Richard Müller assumed exactly the same standpoint within the partially-buried basement he had taken in his earlier drawing. From there, the missing floors permitted an unobstructed view through several rooms and floors, up to the partially-preserved vaulted ceilings of this once-imposing Bohemian castle. With selective white heightening, Müller sparingly but effectively accentuated open-air vistas throughout the drawing and, through heavy shadowing, cleverly built up the plasticity of the architectural ruins. Only the lone bag, which is placed on the gravel to the lower left of the painting, is missing from our preliminary sketch.