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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

stranger in a strange land: carl spitzweg

Der Rabe (The Raven), circa 1845
Gnome Watching The Rail Transport, 1848
The Sorcerer, 1875
Carl Spitzweg was a Munich-based painter whose works included traditional Romantic landscapes filled with paths of yearning into the mountainous unknown. However, he also had a wanderlust that drew him to unusual characters (hermits and eccentrics), satire of the military and the fantastical world of imaginary beings. His sorcerer and dragon (pictured, bottom) are fairly typical fairytale figures, but it's his wistful gnome seeing the force of progress (centre) and particularly his anthropomorphic raven (top) that stand out, far stranger for swerving the usual fantasy pigeonholes.

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