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Ludwig Emil Grimm

(1790 Hanau – 1863 Kassel)

Old Lore von Ungedanken Reads a Young Girl’s Palm. Etching. 11.3 x 8.1 cm. 1826. Stoll 157 II.

Ludwig Emil Grimm met the old gypsy woman, Lore von Ungedanken, on 30 September 1825 near Fritzlar and made several portrait studies of her. These served as a model for the present small etching in which the old woman reads the palm of a young peasant girl in traditional Hessian costume. Despite its small size the artist manages to conjure up an intensely Romantic mood and atmosphere, which makes this modest little print a remarkable and highly original work of art. The old woman with her striking profile is seen from the back: her bony, claw-like hand prises open the bare palm of the shy young woman. Warm, indirect light gives the intimate scene an almost ghostly atmosphere. This impression is reinforced by the tall, prickly thistle and the filigree spider’s web. The scene has something of a witch’s Sabbath about it. The intricate, succinct etching technique is of the utmost sensitivity and produces a wonderfully atmospheric effect fully in keeping with the Romantic mood of the scene. A delicate, sharp impression with plate tone and wide margins. Minor discoloration and foxing, the edges tapered below, otherwise in excellent condition.

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