It must be assumed that
this watercolor was made on commission around 1892, in the era when the factory
was completed. It was painted by Georg Riegel, a significant Nuremberg engraver
and architectural draftsman active in the second half of the 19th century. As
the brother-in-law of Nuremberg painter Lorenz Ritter, he became a part owner
of the Ritter & Riegel engraving studio in 1873.
The foreground of the
picture is occupied by an angled view from the southeast of the Norica needle
works in the Glockenhof district, a location clearly identifiable from the
cityscape far in the distance. This is certainly Nuremberg: the Castle, clearly
identifiable as the crowning feature above the city roofs; the upper part of
the Frauentor tower, one of the thick round gate towers in the northeast; and
the upper floors and tip of the Laufer Schlagturm tower leave no doubt.
The new idea of art at
the end of the 19th century is quietly evident. Most notably, the background is
slightly veiled by the smoke from the factory stack. The focus is on an
atmospheric impression of the place, and differs from the otherwise often cool
and sober views we find in illustrations of factories. The imposing structures
in the foreground appear as a harmonious whole, with green landscaping and
human figures engaged in everyday activities. The complex of the manufacturer's
mansion, splendidly tricked out with a grand façade in neo-Renaissance style,
together with a smoking chimney and well-manicured factory buildings, displays
the "appealing face" of advancing industrialization.