The J. Paul Getty Museum

Spring in the Alps

Object Details

Title:

Spring in the Alps

Artist/Maker:

Giovanni Segantini (Italian, 1858 - 1899)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Switzerland (Place Created)

Date:

1897

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Object Number:

2019.3

Dimensions:

116 × 227 cm (45 11/16 × 89 3/8 in.)

See more

See less

Object Description

Spring in the Alps depicts a panoramic alpine landscape near the village of Soglio—visible on the right with its recognizable church tower—in Val Bregaglia in southwestern Switzerland. The view sweeps across the expansive plateau and valley to the majestic, snow-capped Sciora Massif and Bondasca Glacier. In the middle of the composition a robust farm girl, dressed in the blue and red peasant costume characteristic of the Grisons (Graubünden) Canton, leads two large draught horses past a watering trough. They have left the freshly plowed field, visible in the left middle ground, where a sower scatters seeds; a vigilant black and white dog stands guard at the right. The joyful mood of the picture is expressed in the bright, shimmering sunlight and the glorious, expansive vista. The crisp colors of the season define the landscape against the brilliant ultramarine sky and the ribbons of thin clouds overhead. The painting is a vivid hymn to the reawakening of nature in spring after a long, hard winter, a pantheistic work in which the landscape, the rural workers, and the animals evoke the cycle of nature. Segantini counted Spring in the Alps among his greatest paintings, and it has become one of the most celebrated pictures of the Italian Ottocento, much exhibited and published. 

Provenance
Provenance
1897 - 1927

Jacob Stern, 1851 - 1927 (San Francisco, California) and Rosa Stern (San Francisco, California), commissioned in 1897 through Toby E. Rosenthal and delivered in San Francisco in 1899; by inheritance to their grandchildren, William Haas and Madeleine Haas Russell, 1927.

1927 - 1999

William Haas, died 1943 and Madeleine Haas Russell, died 1999 (on display at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, later called Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, July 1928 to September 1999) [sold, Impressionist and post-impressionist art sale, Christie's, New York, November 9, 1999, lot 512, to French & Company.]

1999 - 2019

French and Company, Inc., sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 2019.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
VII. Internationalen Kunst-Ausstellung im kgl. Glaspalaste zu München (June 1 to October 31, 1897)
  • Königliche Glaspalaste (Munich), June to October 1897
Ottocento Painting in American Collections (November 15, 1972 to June 15, 1973)
  • New York Cultural Center (New York), November 15 to December 31, 1972
  • Columbia Museum of Art, January 9 to February 4, 1973
  • Museum of Fine Arts (St. Petersburg, FL), February 26 to March 25, 1973
  • Cummer Gallery of Art (Jacksonville), April 3 to April 29, 1973
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge), May 5 to June 15, 1973
Post-Impressionism: Cross-Currents in European Painting (London title) / Post-Impressionism: Cross-Currents in European and American Painting, 1880-1906 (Washington title) (November 17, 1979 to September 1, 1980)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), November 17, 1979 to March 16, 1980
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), May 25 to September 1, 1980
Giovanni Segantini: luce e simbolo (November 11, 2000 to April 29, 2001)
  • Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza (Biumo Superiore), November 11, 2000 to December 28, 2001
  • Peggy Guggenheim Foundation (Venice), February 10 to April 29, 2001
Le Stanze dell’Arte: Figure e immagini del XX secolo (December 15, 2002 to April 13, 2003)
  • Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, December 15, 2002 to April 13, 2003
Gli impressionisti e la neve: La Francia e l’ Europa (November 27, 2004 to April 25, 2005)
  • Palazzo della Promotrice delle Belle Arti (Turin), November 27, 2004 to April 25, 2005
Radical Light: Italy’s Divisionist Painters, 1891-1910 (June 18, 2008 to January 11, 2009)
  • The National Gallery (London), June 18 to September 7, 2008
  • Kunsthaus Zürich (Zurich), September 26, 2008 to January 11, 2009
Segantini (January 16 to April 25, 2011)
  • Beyeler Museum AG (Riehen / Basel), January 16 to April 25, 2011
Guest of Honor: Giovanni Segantini, Primavera sulle Alpi 1897 (May 28 to October 20, 2011)
  • Museo Segantini (St. Moritz), May 28 to October 20, 2011
Giovanni Segantini: Ritorno a Milano (September 18, 2014 to January 18, 2015)
  • Palazzo Reale (Milano), September 18, 2014 to January 18, 2015
Bibliography
Bibliography

Offizieller Katalog der VII. internationalen Kunstaustellung im kgl. Glaspalaste zu München 1897, exh. cat. (Munich: Rudolf Mosse, 1897), p. 117, no. 1535a, ill.

“La figurazione della Primavera, penultimo quadro di Giovanni Segantini.” La Domenica del Corriere [Milan] 1, n. 41 (October 15, 1899), unpaginated, ill.

Villari, Luigi. Giovanni Segantini: The Story of his Life Together with Seventy Five Reproductions [...] (London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1901), pp. 86-90, ill.

Fred, W. Giovanni Segantini (Vienna: Wiener Verlag, 1901), pp. 18-19, ill.

Servaes, Franz. Giovanni Segantini: sein Leben and Werk (Vienna: Verlag von Martin Gerlach & Co., 1902), pp. 90, 127, no. 120.

Montandon, Marcel. Künstler-Monographien. Vol. 72, Segantini (Bielefeld and Leipzig: Verlag von Velhagen und Klasing 1904), pp. 85, 92-94, pl. 76.

Talbot, Howard. “Details of the Art Loss in San Francisco.” Brush and Pencil 18, no. 2 (August 1906), p. 58.

Servaes, Franz. Giovanni Segantini: sein Leben und sein Werk (Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann,1907), pp. 192, 208-9, ill.

Segantini, Bianca, ed. Giovanni Segantinis Schriften und Briefe (Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1909), pp. 96-97, 99, 103, 152-58.

Giucovscaia, N. “Giovanni Segantini.” Lukomorye [Лукоморье] 17 (1914), p. 6, ill.

"Without Prejudice." International Studio 73, no. 288 (March 1921), p. x.

Catalogue of the Jacob Stern Loan Collection, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco (San Francisco: California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1928), p. 33, ill.

Zbinden, H. Giovanni Segantini: Leben und Werk (Bern: Verlag Paul Haupt, 1951), p. 40, fig. 28.

Nicodemi, G. Giovanni Segantini (Milan: L'ARTE, 1956), fig. 133.

Fiori, Teresa. Archivi del Divisionismo italiano (Rome: Officina Edizioni, 1968), vol. 2, pp. 39, 91, no. 383, ill.

Quinsac, Annie-Paule, ed. Ottocento Paintings in American Collections, exh. cat. (Columbia: Columbia Museum of Art, with The Vogue Press,1972), p. 105, no. 52, ill.

Arcangeli, Francesco, and Maria Cristina Gozzoli. L’opera completa di Segantini (Milan: Rizzoli Editore, 1973), p. 120, no. 376.

House, John, and MaryAnne Stevens, eds. Post-Impressionism: Cross-Currents in European Painting, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy of Arts, 1979), pp. 250-51, no. 384, ill.

Bowness, Alan, et al. Post-Impressionism: Cross-Currents in European and American Painting, 1880-1906, exh. cat. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1980), p. 195, no. 220, ill.

Quinsac, Annie-Paule. Segantini: Catalogo-generale. 2 vols. (Milan: Electa, 1982), vol. 2, pp. 350-51, no. 434, ill.

Quinsac, Annie-Paule. 30 anni di vita artistica europea nei carteggi inediti di Segantini e dei suoi mecenati (Oggono: Cattaneo, 1985), pp. 425, 447, 451, 453, 459, 461, 463, 466-67, 475-76, 479, 481, 492-93, 501-2, 515-16, 558-59, 649, 651.

Metkin, Günter, ed. Giovanni Segantini 1858-1899, exh. cat. (Zurich: Kunsthaus Zürich,1990), p. 45, ill.

Christie’s, New York. 20th Century Art. November 9, 1999, lot 512, ill.

Quinsac, Annie-Paule, ed. Giovanni Segantini: Luce e simbolo, exh. cat. (Milan: Skira, 2000), pp. 20, 72-73, no. 11, ill.

Belli, Gabriella, ed. Le Stanze dell’Arte: Figure e immagini del XX secolo, exh. cat. (Milan: Skira, 2002), pp. 27, 527.

Goldin, Marco, ed. Gli impressionisti e la neve: La Francia e l’ Europa, exh. cat. (Turin: Linea d'ombra libri, 2004), pp. 122-23, 345-46, no. 51.

Bosoni, Giampiero, ed. Il Modo Italian: Italian Design and Avant- Garde in the 20th Century, exh. cat. (Milan: Skira, 2006), p. 370, no. 309, ill.

Fraquelli, Simonetta, Giovanna Ginex, Vivien Greene, and Aurora Scotti Tosini, eds. Radical Light: Italy’s Divisionist Painters, 1891-1910, exh. cat. (London: National Gallery Company Limited, with Yale University Press, 2008), pp. 165-66, no. 4, ill.

Anker, Valentina. Der Schweizer Symbolismus und seine Verflechtungen mit der europäischen Kunst (Bern: Benteli Verlag, 2009), pp. 281-83, 86, ill.

Segantini, Diana, Guido Magnaguagno, and Ulf Küster, eds. Segantini, exh. cat. (Riehen/Basel and Osthildern: Beyeler Museum, with Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2011), pp. 116-17, 168, ill.

Stutzer, Beat. Guest of Honour: Giovanni Segantini: Primavera sulle Alpi, 1897 (St. Moritz: Segantini Museum, 2011).

Stutzer, Beat. “Feature: Giovanni Segantini: Spring in the Alps.” Apollo 175, no. 597 (April 2012), pp. 36-40, ill.

Quinsac, Annie-Paule, and Diana Segantini, eds. Giovanni Segantini: Ritorno a Milano, exh. cat. (Milan: Skira, 2014), pp. 61, 230-31, no. 97, ill.

Stutzer, Beat. Giovanni Segantini (Zürich: Scheidegger & Spiess 2016), pp. 184-87, ill.

"Acquisitions of the Month: January 2019." Apollo (February 4, 2019), https://www.apollo-magazine.com/acquisitions-of-the-month-january-2019/ (accessed June 21, 2019), ill.

Besson-Kubo, Kuniko. アルプスの画家セガンティーニ / [Alpine Painter, Segantini] (Tokyo: Ronsōsha, 2019), pl. 25, cover ill. (det.).