In “The Old Fortress Commandant”, the author has found it important to reveal an apparently unobservable event; in a romantic landscape by an old fortress, the commandant is sitting with his dog, smoking a pipe and reminiscing about old times. The psychological subtlety, mysteriousness and emphatically light mood of this painting is characteristic of other works by Spitzweg. The author is engaged in a reflection on how organised, fulfilled and peaceful solitude can be, as opposed to the tragedy and loneliness that can sometimes lie hidden in an active social life.


  • Title: The Old Fortress Commandant
  • Creator: Karl Spitzweg (1808, Munich–1885, Munich)
  • Date: ca 1860
  • Location Created: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: 54 x 31.8 cm
  • History: Bequeathed by James Armitstead (1880)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Latvian National Museum of Art
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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