The River Würm in Pasing
  • Wilhelm von Kobell
  • Mannheim 1766 - 1855 Munich
  • The River Würm in Pasing, 1794
  • Brush and grey ink over black chalk, grey wash,
    framing lines with pen and black ink, watermark crest,
  • inscribed and dated by the artist with pencil:
    Pasing im Juni 1794
  • 274 × 212 mm
Victor Sieger, Munich (1824-1905), (Lugt 2377),
his sale with H. Helbing, Munich 1905
Bernhard Funck, Munich (1895-1993), (Lugt 3835/3836)
sale Karl & Faber, Munich 1976, lot 793
private collection Hesse

Even before he began his education at the academy in Mannheim, Wilhelm was encouraged by his father Ferdinand (1740-1799) to study the Dutch Old Masters intensively, a practice that Wilhelm maintained even after he was summoned as court painter to Munich in 1792. Wilhelm Kobell soon acclimated to his new home, taking an active interest in military events and discovering the Bavarian landscape. He developed a clear narrative style and highly recognizable subject matter. Wilhelm Kobell understood how to accumulate figures and nature into moments of seemingly timeless stasis. His artistic popularity in the new kingdom of Bavaria reached its apex with Kobell’s appointment as professor of landscape painting at the Munich academy in 1814 and his elevation to the nobility three years later, in recognition of the numerous battle scenes painted under the rule of King Max I.

In many of Wilhelm Kobell’s landscape studies in ink, one sees similarities to the brush drawings of his uncle Franz (see cat. nos. 48, 49). Both in the subject matter and in the countering of the monochromatic palette through varied and lively shading, these atmospheric views of nature recall the private experiments of the elder painter. However, it was Franz Kobell who took inspiration from the creative works of young Wilhelm and not the other way around.

Until its incorporation in 1938, Pasing was an independent city within Munich’s administrative district. The area is traversed by the small river Würm, the only outflow of Lake Starnberg (formerly Lake Würm), which on its way, through a canal system, into the Amper and the Isar rivers provides water to the park at Nymphenburg Palace and the lake in Olympia Park.