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Ferdinand Hodler

Winterlandschaft mit Wetterhorn

Property from an Important Swiss Private Collection

Ferdinand Hodler

Ferdinand Hodler

Winterlandschaft mit Wetterhorn

Winterlandschaft mit Wetterhorn

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

The painting is in very good condition. It has been glue lined and stretched over a wooden stretcher. Both ground and paint layer appear to be in very good condition, stable and well attached. Under UV light, scattered small retouches are visible over the entire surface. There are cracks that are for the most part present in the sky. The surface is unvarnished.

Please note: Condition 16 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

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. 

Berlin, Paul Cassirer, X. Jahrgang, II. Ausstellung, 1907, no. 24

Zurich, Kunsthaus, Aus Zürcher Privatsammlungen, 1914, no. 71

Possibly Zurich, Kunsthaus, Ausstellung von Werken aus dem Besitz von Mitgliedern der Vereinigung Zürcher Kunstfreunde, 1927, no. 123

Langenthal, Gewerbeschulhaus, Der Beitrag des Oberaargaus zum bernischen Kunstschaffen. Kunstausstellung im Rahmen der Berner Jubiläumsfeiern 1953. Werke einheimischer Künstler, 1953, no. 110, p. 15, ill.

Berlin, Nationalgalerie; Paris, Musée du Petit Palais; Zurich, Kunsthaus, Ferdinand Hodler, 1983, no. 20, pp. 80, 202, 311, 473, 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.