Small Landscape with Seaweed Fishermen, Paul Sérusier
Paul Sérusier
Small Landscape with Seaweed Fishermen
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Paul Sérusier

Small Landscape with Seaweed Fishermen, ca. 1889

21.9 x 33.2 cm
Physical Description
Oil on cardboard
Inventory Number
SG 399
Acquired in 1926
Not on display


About the Work

The fishermen collecting seaweed look like dancers in a choreographed routine as they use large rakes to pile up the heaps of pink seaweed on the beach. The stylised figures and formal elements, clearly delineated with dark lines, consist of pure areas of colour without any form of modelling. This painterly method, following the style of Paul Gauguin among others, is characteristic of many of the works by the Nabis, the artists' group of which Sérusier was a co-founder. The central perspective, too, is sacrificed to a decorative overall impression: this small-format picture, painted in Brittany, has no horizon, but the sea and beach are shown as vertical surfaces.

About the Acquisition

Pauline Kowarzik (née Fellner; 1852–1930) grew up in Frankfurt and received private painting and drawing lessons at a young age. In 1896, she married the Viennese sculptor and medallist Josef Kowarzik (1860–1911), who taught sculpture at the Städelschule. Together, they were very active participants of Frankfurt’s art life and closely associated with the Städel Art Institute. Due to her notable knowledge of modern art, Pauline Kowarzik was the first woman to be appointed as a member with advisory capacity in the acquisition committee of the Städtische Galerie in 1916. Kowarzik herself owned a significant collection with modern art works. When the inflation in 1926 got her into financial trouble, Pauline Kowarzik sold her private collection to the Städel for a monthly life annuity. In 1937, 18 of the 34 works were removed from the museum as part of the “Degenerate Art” confiscation operation. Nowadays, they are either lost or in other museums all over Europe. Heckel’s "Landscape in Holstein" was the only one of these works that the Städel was able to buy back.

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