Under the elder bush, Hans Thoma
Hans Thoma
Under the elder bush
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Hans Thoma

Under the elder bush, 1871

74.5 x 62.5 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
SG 903
Acquired in 1938, Hans Thoma Collection of Otto Eiser-Eduard Kücher
Not on display


About the Work

A young woman sits in front of a flowering elder bush, which is still called "lilac" in some parts of the world. She gazes tenderly at the sleeping child in her lap. The intimate attention and familiarity suggest a mother with child. In fact, however, Thoma was modelling his younger sister Agathe (1848–1928) and a boy who was probably also a relative. The group, composed as a stable triangle, is reminiscent of depictions of the Virgin Mary with her Son. Hence, this summer idyll can be considered a precursor for the numerous religious motifs in the artist's later oeuvre.

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