Koch's landscapes are firmly rooted in the classical tradition, both in their artful composition and the staffage and architecture they depict. Deeply inspired by the classical writers Ovid and Aeschylus from an early age, as well by Michelangelo, Raphael, and the seventeenth-century classical paintings of Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, Koch nevertheless believed that neoclassicism could and should blend seamlessly into Romanticism and have ideological motivations. The picture spirits the viewer into a timeless, bygone realm populated by shepherds, shepherdesses, and ploughmen. From the foreground, the eye is led by clear compositional lines over copses and lush river valleys to sunny plateaus and rugged hills, topped by the medieval hill-top town of Paliano, to evoke a harmonious, cosmic unity.
The importance Koch attached to tempering cold observed reality with aspects of the sublime is perhaps a reflection of his poor rural upbringing. Koch himself started life as a shepherd boy in the remote Tyrolean valley in which he was born. His talents attracted the attention of the Bishop of Augsburg, who funded his education at the Dilling Seminary and then his art training at the Karlsschule in Stuttgart. Yet like Schiller before him, Koch felt stifled by the school's harsh drill and fled by way of Strasbourg to Switzerland. Apart from a brief three-year intermezzo in Vienna from 1812 to 1815, which he also found intolerable, Koch lived in Rome from 1795 until his death, his adopted country providing him with his greatest creative inspiration.
In Rome, Koch proved an immensely influential figure on the succeeding generation of German Romantic painters working there, including the Nazarenes, Carl Philipp Fohr and Carl Rottmann.
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale