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The Illusion of the American Frontier

From 03 November 2015 to 07 February 2016

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Edward S. Curtis
An Oasis in the Badlands (detail), 1905
Photography, gelatin silver. 15.2 x 20.2 cm
Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.
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Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
The Junkerboden under Snow
ca. 1936-38
Oil on canvas
100 x 120 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
Numero de inventario
INV. Nr. 617 (1983.7)

More information about this work

As can be seen in the simplified formal structure of the present work, which was executed in the 1930s at the end of the painter’s life, Kirchner’s painting shifted towards more naturalistic forms and became centred almost exclusively on the alpine landscapes of the area surrounding Wildboden . The sweeping blanket of snow that stretches across the lower half of the composition contrasts with the mountainous, forest-covered upper part. The empty space tinges the painting with a touch of mystery and a romantic, pantheistic air.

The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza archives hold a letter dated 15 May 1982 from Liselotte Bendix Stern, the widow of its former owner Dr Stern , to Simon de Pury , then curator of the Thyssen- Bornemisza collection. In this letter she states, among other things, that “My husband and I have always felt that the picture should be available for public enjoyment and he would have been very pleased that the picture had come to La Favorita.”

Paloma Alarcó

© 2009 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Paseo del Prado 8, 28014 Madrid, España

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