The old Spruce in Bad Gastein

Rudolf von Alt1899

Leopold Museum

Leopold Museum

From 1887 onward, Rudolf von Alt would regularly travel in midsummer with his daughter, Louise, to Gastein from Salzburg. The melancholy expressed by the letters he wrote there contradicts the artistic fervor from which his most mature works resulted. The Old Spruce in Bad Gastein is a masterpiece of his late watercolor period. In proud splendor, a tree rises from all sides into the sky, which is imbued by loose brushwork with a light blue. Sweeping mountain ranges built from the finest points and short strokes of the brush stretch across the background. To convey the majestic size of the spruce, the painter incorporated the figure of a woman busy harvesting cabbage. Her stooped posture exemplifies an opposition between the imposing forces of nature and quiet, stable work.

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  • Title: The old Spruce in Bad Gastein
  • Creator: Rudolf von Alt
  • Date Created: 1899
  • Technique: Watercolour, gouache on paper
  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings: Signed and dated below left: R. Alt 899
  • Physical Dimensions: w504 x h568 cm (Without Frame)
  • Painter: Rudolf von Alt
  • Original German Title: Die alte Fichte in Bad Gastein
  • Type: Drawings
  • Rights: Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 3645, Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 3645