Modern & Contemporary Auction

Modern & Contemporary Auction

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 11. Winterlandschaft mit Wetterhorn .

Property from an Important Swiss Private Collection

Ferdinand Hodler

Winterlandschaft mit Wetterhorn

Lot Closed

June 14, 12:10 PM GMT


600,000 - 800,000 CHF

Lot Details


Property from an Important Swiss Private Collection

Ferdinand Hodler

1853 - 1918

Winterlandschaft mit Wetterhorn

Oil on canvas

Signed lower right

130 x 100 cm (unframed); 143.5 x 113.5 cm (framed)

Executed circa 1887

Fritz Meyer-Fierz, Zurich, [1907]-1917

Kunsthaus Zurich, Depositum Alfred Rütschi, 1918-1924

Inherited from the above by the present owner

T. H. Trog, «Aus dem Zürcher Kunsthaus», in Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 18.11.1914, no. 1550, Abendblatt, p. 2

W. Wartmann, Hodler in Zürich (Neujahrsblatt. Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft 1919), Zurich, 1919, p. III, ill. 16, 40

C. A. Loosli, Ferdinand Hodler. Leben, Werk und Nachlass, vol. 2, Berne, 1921- 1924, pp. 138-139

C. A. Loosli, «Generalkatalog», in Ferdinand Hodler. Leben, Werk und Nachlass, vol. 4, Berne, 1921- 1924, no. 2271

W. Y. Müller, «Landschaftskatalog», in Die Kunst Ferdinand Hodlers. Gesamtdarstellung. Band 2. Reife und Spätwerk 1895-1918, Zurich, 1941, no. 158

H. Mühlestein, G. Schmidt, Ferdinand Hodler 1853-1918. Sein Leben und sein Werk, Erlenbach/Zurich, 1942, pp. 253-254

W. Hugelshofer, Ferdinand Hodler. Eine Monographie, Zurich, 1952, p. VIII, no. 23

P. Vignau-Wilberg, Gemälde und Skulpturen. Museum der Stadt Solothurn, Zurich, 1973, p. 164

J. Brüschweiler, «Ferdinand Hodler (Bern 1853-Genf 1918). Chronologische Übersicht: Biographie, Werk, Rezensionen», in Ferdinand Hodler, Berlin/Paris/Zurich, 1983, p. 80

G. Magnaguagno, «Landschaften. Ferdinand Hodlers Beitrag zur symbolistischen Landschaftsmalerei», in Ferdinand Hodler, Berlin/Paris/Zurich, 1983, p. 311

J. Brüschweiler, Ferdinand Hodler als Schüler von Ferdinand Sommer, Steffisburg/Martigny/Lugano, 1983-1984, pp. 91, 102, 161, ill.

Exh. Cat., Ferdinand Hodler. Vom Frühwerk bis zur Jahrhundertwende. Zeichnungen aus der Graphischen Sammlung des Kunsthauses Zürich, Zurich/Hannover, 1990-1991, p. 32

J. Becker, «Die Natur als Fläche sehen», in Untersuchungen zur Landschaftsauffassung Ferdinand Hodlers (Dissertation, Universität Giessen, 1990, Bergisch Gladbach), Cologne, 1992, pp. 60-61

O. Bätschmann, P. Müller, Ferdinand Hodler. Catalogue raisonné der Gemälde. Die Landschaften, vol. 1, Zurich, 2008, no. 149, pp. 171-172, ill. 

Winterlandschaft mit Wetterhorn is among the first alpine winter landscapes executed by Ferdinand Hodler. This masterpiece was painted from the eastern end part of Grindelwald and features both the vertical north-face of the Mettenberg and the Wetterhorn. In the centre of the work, the Schwarze Lütschine draws the viewer’s eye to the bright blue sky and vertical white clouds that enliven the background. The motif depicted is similar to the work Die Lawine (Catalogue Raisonné no. 148) made by Hodler for a competition launched by the Société des Arts in Geneva in February 1886. This painting was acquired by the Swiss Confederation in 1898 and is currently located at the Kunstmuseum Solothurn. 

Belonging to Ferdinand Hodler’s early period, Winterlandschaft mit Wetterhorn not only dazzles by its monumental size, but also by its formal characteristics. Whether the shape of the rocks surrounding the river, the clouds animating the sky, the blue tone palette or the parallelism of the composition, this work foreshadows the artist’s future hallmarks. The overlay of water, mountain and sky is also recurrent in Hodler's later work and anticipates the most iconic paintings by the artist, including the famous views of Lake Léman. 

From the 1890s onward, Hodler increasingly started expressing his own artistic personality. He moved away from finely balanced compositions and the sense of detail taught by Barthélémy Menn. Instead, he favoured symmetry, repetition, simplification of forms and extensively used a palette of blue tones, which enabled him to reveal the harmony of the world and express the emotion he felt once facing the splendour of nature.

Created when Hodler was developing the essential characteristics of his oeuvre, Winterlandschaft mit Wetterhorn appears as a pivotal and major work in the artist’s career and stands as a genuine tribute to the majestic landscapes of Switzerland. Appearing for the first time at auction, this impressive landscape has remained in the same family for over a century and hasn’t been shown to the public since the early 1980s.