Dorfstraße Ahrenshoop (The School House)

Hans Emil Oberländer (1885-1944)1939

Ahrenshoop Art Museum

Ahrenshoop Art Museum
Ostseebad Ahrenshoop, Germany

Hans Emil Oberländer was an important representative of the New Objectivity in Ahrenshoop. His paintings are captivating because of their precise drawing, which focuses on details, and a confidently applied old-masterly glazing technique. Hans Emil Oberländer was born in Rostock. After an apprenticeship as a decorative painter and attending the arts and crafts school in his hometown, he studied at the Berlin and later at the Breslau Academy from 1907 to 1909. His repeated stays in Schreiberhau in the Krkonoše Mountains, where he co-founded the artists' association "St. Lukas", had a formative influence on his artistic development. In the meantime, he repeatedly stayed on the Baltic coast and finally found a permanent connection in a circle of like-minded painters in Ahrenshoop. His portraits and landscapes painted on Fischland follow the tradition-oriented approach that was characteristic of New Objectivity art. They are not critical of society in the sense of Verism. Unhindered by the National Socialists, Oberländer was able to devote himself to his artistic work in the 1930s and 40s without any significant restrictions, received several awards and was successfully present at exhibitions. In 1939 - one year before the painter returned to the Krkonoše - he painted the village street of Ahrenshoop. As the communicative lifeline of the modest village and at the same time a connection from Fischland to Darß, this street was a popular motif. Oberländer emphasised the idea of continuation by means of horizontal lines that run parallel to the picture plane and point beyond the frame. The composition is stabilised by towering trees, accurately drawn in their growth. Oberländer describes this winter day with snow-covered front gardens and white roofs from a pleasantly cheerful mood, with the schoolhouse in the field of vision, in front of which children are having a snowball fight. In the light-coloured genre scene, nothing yet hints at the first winter of war and the world conflagration that will follow.


  • Title: Dorfstraße Ahrenshoop (The School House)
  • Creator: Hans Emil Oberländer (1885-1944)
  • Date Created: 1939
  • Physical Dimensions: 51,5 x 78,5 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Municipality of Ahrenshoop, all rights reserved
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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