The Interrupted Pilgrimage (The Sick Pilgrim)

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller1858

Leopold Museum

Leopold Museum

This painting is considered an outstanding example of how Waldmüller was able to merge genre scenes with landscape. The beautiful environment, here a monastery in Mödling near Vienna, functions as more than just a decorative element. It not only represents a significant proportion of the pictorial composition, it is also an important component of the action depicted. On a rocky mountain ledge, a colorful crowd of pilgrims has stopped to care for a collapsed companion. The face of the figure lying on the ground has become discolored and the figure appears to have lost consciousness. As the group gathers around to tend to the fallen, the grandfather in the left foreground indulges in a little rest. The painter arranged the figures in a sort of triangular composition and framed them with beautifully executed studies of the natural surroundings: at the top left, sunlit branches of a pine tree; above them, a sunlit rock; on the right, a green overgrown rock and a variety of wildflowers. Through the intense, beaming light, the people seem to merge into a harmonious whole with nature.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: The Interrupted Pilgrimage (The Sick Pilgrim)
  • Creator: Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
  • Date Created: 1858
  • Technique: Oil on wood
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed and dated centre right: 1858
  • Physical Dimensions: w873 x h709 cm (Without Frame)
  • Painter: Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
  • Original German Title: Unterbrochene Wallfahrt („Die kranke Pilgerin“)
  • Type: Paintings
  • Rights: Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 481, Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 481
  • External Link: Leopold Museum, Vienna