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Robert Kummer

(1810–1889, Dresden)

A Southern Landscape with a Meditating Monk. Pencil drawing. 18.4 x 23.9 cm. Signed and dated: R. Kummer. Rome. 1835.

Robert Kummer became a pupil of the Dresden Academy in 1825 at the early age of fifteen and received his artistic training from Carl August Richter and Johan Christian Clausen Dahl. He made a successful debut as a landscape painter in 1830, receiving a royal travel stipend that enabled him to make his first study trip to Italy (1832/33). In 1834, the Saxon Art Association acquired
two of his oil paintings featuring motifs from Capri and Pozzuoli. That same year Kummer again travelled to Italy and was resident in Rome until 1837. After his return to Germany the artist lived in Dresden until his death, enjoying a successful career in his native town as a representative of Late Romantic landscape painting.

This intimate, atmospheric scene from his early work, showing a wide coastal landscape on the Gulf of Naples, is executed in a precise and concentrated style. Employing a sharp pencil, the artist has attentively and lovingly rendered the different textures of terrain and vegetation. The weathered trunks and luxuriant foliage of the imposing holm oaks have been depicted with a high standard of artistry, while a subtle wipe technique has been used to produce convincingly soft transitions. The solitary figure of a meditating monk enhances the Romantic mood of the scene and is thematically reminiscent of the work of Carl Blechen.

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