View from my window in Rethel
  • Richard Müller
  • Tschirnitz / Bohemia 1874 -1954 Dresden
  • View from my window in Rethel, 1915
  • Pencil and black chalk, on creme paper
  • inscribed, dated and signed: Rethel 16. I. 15 Rich.Müller
  • cat. rais. Z 1915.26
  • 278 × 412 mm
estate of the artist
Westermanns Monatshefte 1914/15, no. 564 (ill.)
Sonderausstellung Richard Müller, Dresden 1915, no. 12

In early 1915, Richard Müller was stationed for several days in Rethel, another French community in the Ardennes, to capture images of the bizarre landscape of ruins that followed the troops‘ march through the area. During these months, Müller did not work solely for the company, however, for he always allowed his artist‘s eye to prevail and yielded to his constant urge to draw. A typical example is the present view from the window onto the winter garden of his accommodations. As in nearly all of his drawings from this period, the horror of the war experience itself seems far away, despite Müller‘s astonishingly realistic depiction; the participants and the victims, the wounded and the dead, almost fade out of the image. Deserted views of rubble and lifeless nature dominate these sketches, which do not indicate that there has been even a single form of survival. By the end of this phase in his production, Müller had fully become the proverbial master of dead matter.