German School, A Tavern Interior - 19th-century watercolour painting in sepia

An original 19th-century watercolour painting, German School A Tavern Interior.

A lively and atmospheric tavern scene. The viewpoint is focused towards the tavern door, through which windswept figures dive for shelter from the stormy weather outside. This sets up the drama and narrative of the scene – what will be the interactions between the smartly dressed, bonneted mother and daughter coming through the door, and the firmly seated local men in military dress looking on? The interior has the feel of a coastal inn – the young boy to the left with fishing net – and with it comes the associated heightened drama of tales of stormy seas, smugglers and unfamiliar travellers.

The watercolour is executed in sepia tones, with touches of green watercolour wash and graphite. The use of sepia gives the scene a certain universality, and recalls the style of the great German artist Caspar David Friedrich (albeit different in subject) who favoured working in sepia for this reason.

The watercolour is signed indistinctly in pencil lower right, with a German looking name, possibly E. Grölist[?]. The painting was acquired as part of a group of works, many of which are by German artists with extensive German inscriptions, which makes it likely that this is also German School.

This genre scene, populated by a motley collection of figures from everyday life, is in the Northern European realist tradition, which flourished from the 1517 Reformation onwards when religious works declined in importance.

Signed indistinctly lower right.
The surface of the watercolour is rubbed in places as shown. There are small crease lines across the corners of the sheet, and two further vertical creases extending the height of the sheet (approximately 1/4 and 2/3 of the way in from the left edge) which are only really visible towards the lower edge. There are two short repaired tears to the lower left corner of the paper.
17.5cm x 25cm.

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Product code: JG-028

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