The J. Paul Getty Museum

Spring in a Narrow Gorge (Quell in einer Felsschluct)

Object Details

Title:

Spring in a Narrow Gorge (Quell in einer Felsschluct)

Artist/Maker:

Arnold Böcklin (Swiss, 1827 - 1901)

Culture:

Swiss

Place:

Italy (Place Created)

Date:

1881

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Object Number:

2010.31

Dimensions:

84.5 × 59.4 cm (33 1/4 × 23 3/8 in.)

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Object Description

Symmetrically composed with high cliffs and dark trees framing an aperture of sky at the end of a gorge, this landscape features a single brilliantly green birch tree.

Even without human figures or animals, Böcklin’s painting seems decidedly more symbolic than descriptive. Is this a representation of life’s brevity or its eternity? Its meaning is veiled; the artist was noted for his ability to conjure mood through landscape without clear narrative content.

Provenance
Provenance
1881 - still in 1885

Kunsthandlung Fritz Gurlitt (Berlin, Germany)

by 1892

Friedrich C. Wilke (Guben, Germany)

by 1897

Theodor Wilke (Guben, Germany)

1914

Max Wilke (Guben, Germany)

- probably 1945

Erich Wolf, 1886 - 1958 (Guben, Germany)

-

Elisabeth (Wilke) Wolf (Guben, Germany), placed on deposit in Krakow Museum after outbreak of war.
Source: JPGM Paintings Department, curatorial file, Hans Holenweg annotations (July 1, 2010) on letter to Holenweg from the Guben city council, January 26, 1959.

probably 1945 - 1946

Krakow Museum (Krakow, Poland), on deposit from Elisabeth Wolf.
Source: JPGM Paintings Department, curatorial file, letter from Alexander Wax to Hans Holenweg, December 5, 1982.

1946 - 1976

Alexander Wax (1946-1950, Krakow, Poland; 1950-1976, Israel)
Source: JPGM Paintings Department, curatorial file, letter from Alexander Wax to Hans Holenweg, December 5, 1982.

1976

Galerie Wenzel (Nuremberg, Germany)
Source: JPGM Paintings Department, curatorial file, fax from Wolfgang Schuller to Scott Schaefer, April 20, 2010.

1976 - 1977

Wolfgang Schuller Kunsthandel (Wertheim, Germany), sold to Dr. h.c. Hans Holenweg, December 15, 1977.
Source: JPGM Paintings Department, curatorial file, fax from Wolfgang Schuller to Scott Schaefer, April 20, 2010.

1977 - 2010

Dr. h. c. Hans Holenweg (Pratteln, Switzerland), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2010, through the agency of Daxer & Marschall, Munich.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Akademische Ausstellung von Werken Arnold Böcklins zur Feier seines 70. Geburtstages (December 2, 1897 to January 16, 1898)
  • Königliche Akademie der Künste (Berlin), December 2, 1897 to January 16, 1898
A. Böcklin, 1827-1901 (October 23 to December 11, 1977)
  • Mathildenhöhe (Darmstadt), October 23 to December 11, 1977
"In uns selbst liegt Italien": Die Kunst der Deutsch-Römer (December 12, 1987 to February 21, 1988)
  • Haus der Kunst (Munich), December 12, 1987 to February 21, 1988
I "Deutsch-Römer": Il mito dell'Italia negli artisti tedeschi, 1850-1900 (April 22 to May 29, 1988)
  • Galleria nazionale d'arte moderna e contemporanea (Rome), April 22 to May 29, 1988
Arnold Böcklin, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst: Eine Reise ins Ungewisse (October 3, 1997 to August 10, 1998)
  • Kunsthaus Zürich (Zurich), October 3, 1997 to January 18, 1998
  • Haus der Kunst (Munich), February 5 to May 3, 1998
  • Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz (Berlin), May 20 to August 10, 1998
Arnold Böcklin (May 19, 2001 to May 26, 2002)
  • Musée d'Orsay (Paris), October 1, 2001 to January 15, 2002
  • Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Neue Pinakothek (Munich), February 14 to May 26, 2002
Pictorialist Photography and Painting (May 22 to September 7, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 22 to September 7, 2014
Bibliography
Bibliography

"Neues Gemälde von Böcklin." Basler Nachrichten, no. 66 (March 19, 1885), p. 2.

Schmid, Heinrich Alfred. Arnold Böcklin: Eine Auswahl der hervorragendsten Werke des Künstlers. 4 vols. (Munich: Photographische Union, 1892), vol. 2, p. xiii.

Schmid, Heinrich Alfred. Arnold Böcklin: Eine Auswahl der hervorragendsten Werke des Künstlers. 4 vols. (Munich: Photographische Union, 1892), vol. 3, p. xiii.

Schmid, Heinrich Alfred. Arnold Böcklin: Eine Auswahl der hervorragendsten Werke des Künstlers. 4 vols. (Munich: Photographische Union, 1892), vol. 4, p. xiii.

Schmid, Heinrich Alfred. Arnold Böcklin: Eine Auswahl der hervorragendsten Werke des Künstlers. 4 vols. (Munich: Photographische Union, 1892), vol. 1, p. xiii, no. 24, ill.

Singer, Hans W. "On the Work of Arnold Bœcklin." The Studio 7, no. 36 (March 1896), ill. facing p. 69.

Akademische Ausstellung von Werken Arnold Böcklins zur Feier seines 70. Geburtstages, exh. cat. (Berlin: Königliche Akademie der Künste, 1897), p. 13, no. 50.

Neumann, Carl. "Zu Arnold Böcklins siebzigsten Geburtstag." Die Kunst für Alle 13 (1897-98), p. 6, ill.

Lorenz, Felix. Böcklin-Gesänge (Berlin: Hermann Feyl & Co., 1898), p. 8.

Mendelsohn, Henri[ette]. Böcklin (Berlin: Ernst Hofmann & Co., 1901), pp. 142, 158.

Grabowsky, Adolf. Der Kampf um Böcklin (Berlin: Siegfried Cronbach, 1906), p. 68.

Lorenz, Felix. "Quell in der Felsschlucht." In Die kühlen Wälder (Berlin: Juncker, 1910), p. 138.

Hamann, Richard. Die deutsche Malerei im 19. Jahrhundert (Leipzig and Berlin: B. G. Teubner, 1914), pp. 203-4.

Schmid, Heinrich Alfred. Arnold Böcklin. 2nd ed. (Munich: F. Bruckmann A.-G., 1922), pl. 64.

Ostini, Fritz von. Böcklin (Bielefeld and Leipzig: Belhagen & Klasing, 1925), p. 100.

Andree, Rolf. "Arnold Boecklin: Beiträge zur Analyse seiner Bildgestaltung." Ph.D. diss. (Berlin: Freie Universität, 1962), p. 55.

Krimmel, Bernd, ed. A. Böcklin, 1827-1901, exh. cat. (Darmstadt: Mathildenhöhe, 1977), pp. 78-79, no. 32, ill.

Andree, Rolf. Arnold Böcklin: Die Gemälde (Basel: Friedrich Reinhardt; Munich: Prestel, 1977), p. 435, no. 362, ill.

Heilmann, Christoph, ed. "In uns selbst liegt Italien": Die Kunst der Deutsch-Römer, exh. cat. (Munich: Haus der Kunst with Hirmer, 1987), pp. 216-18, no. 44, ill., entry by Christoph Heilmann.

Zelger, Franz. "Invention, Realisation, Degeneration: Böcklin-Motive und ihre Umsetzung auf Postkarten." In "In uns selbst liegt Italien": Die Kunst der Deutsch-Römer, exh. cat. Christoph Heilmann, ed. (Munich: Haus der Kunst with Hirmer, 1987), p. 52, ill.

Heilmann, Christoph, ed. I "Deutsch-Römer": Il mito dell'Italia negli artisti tedeschi, 1850-1900, exh. cat. (Rome: Galleria nazionale d'arte moderne e contemporanea, 1988), unpaginated, no. 29, ill., entry by Christoph Heilmann.

Wölfflin, Heinrich. Kunstgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts: Akademische Vorlesung. Norbert Schmitz, ed. (Alfter: Verlag und Datenbank für Geisteswissenshaften, 1993), p. 98.

Nowakowski, Andrzej. Arnold Böcklin: Chwala i zapomnienie (Krakow: Wydawców Prac Naukowych Universitas, 1994), pp. 154, 330, fig. 135.

Magnaguagno, Guido, and Juri Steiner, eds. Arnold Böcklin, Giorgio de Chirico, Max Ernst: Eine Reise ins Ungewisse, exh. cat. (Bern: Benteli, 1997), pp. 166, 438, no. 67, ill.

Lindemann, Bernd Wolfgang, and Katharina Schmidt, eds. Arnold Böcklin, exh. cat. (Heidelberg: Edition Braus, 2001), pp. 274-75, 372, no. 65, ill., entry by Hans Holenweg.

Maastricht 10: The European Fine Art Fair (Helvoirt: The European Fine Art Foundation, 2010), p. 88, ill.

Oil Sketches and Paintings, 1775-1905: Recent Acquisitions (Munich: Daxer & Marschall, 2010), pp. 54-55, ill.

Holenweg, Hans. "Arnold Böcklin: Il suo intimo rapporto con Firenze." Arte e storia 11, no. 48 (October 2010), p. 396, ill.

Holenweg, Hans. "Antonio Nunziante e le sue affinità con Arnold Böcklin." In Isole del pensiero: Arnold Böcklin, Giorgio de Chirico, Antonio Nunziante, exh. cat. Giovanni Faccenda, ed. (Milan: Electa, 2011), pp. 16-17, ill.

Essay
Essay