Oil on wood panel
Framed: 37.5 x 43.5 x 5.5 cm (14 3/4 x 17 1/8 x 2 3/16 in.); Unframed: 25 x 31 cm (9 13/16 x 12 3/16 in.)
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1983.155
Waldmüller, best remembered as one of the most important Austrian landscape painters, financed his early training by painting candy pictures and portrait miniatures, teaching children, and designing theater sets.
In this depiction of the Prater, a large public garden in Vienna, Austria, a man sits beside a tree in the left foreground. Brilliant sunlight floods into the park illuminating a multitude of trees, their leaves rendered with fine detail. Although celebrated for his portraits, Waldmüller also produced closely observed landscapes and often visited the Prater to paint the majestic oak trees. He was forced to retire from his position as a professor at the Vienna Academy for rejecting doctrines of idealized, moralizing art in favor of truth to nature based on direct observation.
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