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Carl August Lebschée

(1800 Schmiegel – 1877 Munich)

Seventeen / studies etched in copper / by / C: Lebschée / Landscape Painter. Title page, 16 etchings printed on 9 sheets. 5.5 x 7.5 cm and 8.5 x 12.8 cm. In the original greyish-green original paper envelope. Andresen 3, Nagler 2.

This rare suite is a characteristic example of the Romantic idea of landscape as practised in Munich in the 1820s. In 1814, Lebschée was admitted to the Munich Academy, where he studied landscape painting under Wilhelm von Kobell, Johann Georg Dillis and Johann Jakob Dorner, while also receiving instruction in the art of etching from Carl Ernst Christoph Hess. Lebschée’s sound training as a craftsman is reflected in the artistic quality of this delicately treated set of wooded landscapes, in which a maximum of atmospheric density and romantic mood has been achieved within a small format.

These tautly composed studies are covered with a dense network of fine, varied hatchings, which create rich tonal gradations and a lively chiaroscuro effect. Lebschée has a marked predilection for picturesque narrative detail which, however, is never allowed to descend into cliché. Individual motifs show the influence of Adrian Zingg and the Romantic landscape tradition of the Dresden school.

Excellent, nuanced impressions with full margins, the final print in the series on a different, contemporary mounting. The paper is somewhat discoloured and foxed; the final print with unobtrusive traces of glue at the corners, a minor paper loss at the bottom right corner. From the Johann Nepomuk Seiler Collection (1793 Munich – 1876 Kempten, not in Lugt).

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