Summer in Bern (Sommer in Bernbiet) by Julius Voegtli

Oil on canvas
Summer in Bern (Sommer in Bernbiet), Oil on canvas, 45 x 55 cm, 1930 (slightly cut from top and bottom) © Julius Voegtli

Julius Voegtli’s landscapes set out some of the main concerns and cornerstones for the genre and for art in general in the years before World War II.

It seems that Voegtli is moving away from romanticism and realistic depictions, toward a more subjective form of expression. The sketchy application of paint, visible execution of brushstrokes, and inventive use of colors are clearly evident in his artwork.

In Voegtli’s landscapes, cows are generally associated with the bucolic tranquility of nature, and “Summer in Bernbiet” is a splendid example of this. It is an oil painting of an outdoor summer scene. A fruit-laden tree is located to slight left in the foreground and is the focal point of the composition; however, we cannot be sure if it is the most important element of the painting. The tree’s upper branches are pulled down by the weight of the fruits it bears. The grass covers the foreground, represented by paint forming a raised surface. The viewpoint and the viewer’s outlooks change constantly among different sections of the painting. The scene has been painted with a thick layer of paint and with quick brushstrokes. The artist’s technique is most evident in the multi-colored apples on the branches.
(Written by Dr. Davood Khazaie)

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