The 28-year-old Friedrich Metz probably used this small-format sketchbook in August and early September 1848 on hikes through Saxony and Bavaria. As he only dated some of the drawings, his travel route can only be reconstructed roughly. Metz first made some around Leipzig, Meissen, Dresden and Pirna, and later on in Bavaria. He travelled from the town of Hof on the Saale via, possibly, Bamberg but certainly via Nuremberg, Munich and Lake Starnberg to the Wetterstein Mountains on the border to Austria. From there, probably at the end of September 1848, he set out on a hike through South Tyrol (see Inv. SG 2821, Städel Museum).
Particularly in the sketchbook’s first half, Metz captured numerous landscapes with the pencil in confident, often rapid strokes, with wide (river) plains and the striking rocks of Saxon Switzerland inspiring him to draw. Occasionally, he also depicted villages seen from afar but rarely studied buildings more closely in the towns he visited. For the drawings, mostly on the verso pages, Metz usually chose the landscape format, for which he always turned his portrait-format booklet 90 degrees to the right.
A second main focus is on sketchy reproductions and descriptions of artworks, including landscape and altarpieces, which Metz probably studied in Meissen and Nuremberg, among other places, as well as antique sculptures which he might have seen during a visit to the collections in Dresden or Munich. Metz’s intensive study of such a large number of different artworks is rather unusual in comparison with the other 30 or so sketchbooks compiled by the artist in the Städel Museum.
For a full sketchbook description, please see “Research”.
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