- Carl Spitzweg
- Die Plauderstunde (A Good Gossip)
- signed with the rhombus monogram lower left
- oil on canvas
Fürst Carlos Auersperg (purchased 1846 and still in his possession at the time of the 1887 Spitzweg exhibition in Prague)
Private collection, Vienna
Ludwigsgalerie, Munich (by 1934)
Alfred Blohm, Hamburg (purchased from the above; emmigrated to Venezuela in 1947); thence by descent to the present owner
Prague, Rudolfinum, Spitzweg-Ausstellung, 1887, no. 14
Carl Spitzweg, Verkaufsverzeichnis (the artist's sales ledger), no. 60 (as Das Lieblingsplätzchen)
Günther Roennefahrt, Beschreibendes Verzeichnis seiner Gemälde, Ölstudien und Aquarelle, Munich, 1960, p. 228, no. 868, catalogued & illustrated
Siegfried Wichmann, Carl Spitzweg, Verzeichnis der Werke, Stuttgart, 2002, p. 215, no. 348, catalogued & illustrated
In this comical, gently satirical scene, a group of burghers have convened for a chat on the terrace outside the Storchenapotheke (the Stork Pharmacy, after the distinctive ornithological sign above its entrance under whose watchful eye the scene unfolds).
It is a fine summer's evening in Rothenburg-on-Tauber, and the church clock has just struck seven. The pharmacist, already half asleep in his night cap, leans back to catch the last rays of the afternoon sun, leaving his assistant to mind the prescriptions window, while an officer of the guards smokes his long clay pipe; the three girls sitting with them busy themselves with needlework.
Ironically, despite the picture's title, the protagonists are remarkably detached from one another - the only communication being the furtive glances exchanged between the girl on the left and a passing cavalier on the right, who surreptitiously signals to her with his hand the hour of their next clandestine meeting.