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Oak / The Evergreen / From Ghigi Park in Ariccia near Rome. Lithograph after Carl Frommel. 64 x 48 cm. “Drawn from nature by C. Frommel 1815 / transferred to stone by P. Wagner 1822”. Winkler 900, 9.
This wonderful image is striking both for the monumental scale of its composition and for the detailed and extremely varied technique employed. Despite the minute detail of the treatment the work exudes the freshness and spontaneity of a pen-and-ink drawing; the differentiated rendering of the mass of foliage is vaguely reminiscent of the lithographs of Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
Wagner has succeeded in producing a scene of perfect pastoral harmony, and one can almost hear the wind gently rustling the leaves of the majestic, centuries old oak. The composition is based on a drawing made in 1815 by Carl Ludwig Frommel in the park of the Villa Chigi, a resort popular among German artists resident in Rome. In 1829, after his return to Germany, the artist was appointed gallery director in Karlsruhe. At this time the landscape painter and lithographer Johann Peter Wagner had already been working for over fifteen years in his native city of Mannheim, where the electors of the Palatinate used to have their residence. Around 1822 he was in charge of the printing-oμce of his uncle, Karl Wagner, establishing a reputation by his lithographs, which according to Nagler stood out for their “tasteful treatment”. Wagner produced altogether three prints with depictions of trees after drawings executed by Frommel in Rome, Tivoli and Ariccia.
A superb, contrasting impression with narrow margins. Slight aging, otherwise in excellent condition. With a collector’s mark not listed in Lugt.