ALFONS WALDE (1891-1958) Bergsommer (Painted in 1937)

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Lot 11AR
ALFONS WALDE
(1891-1958)
Bergsommer

Sold for £ 175,062 (US$ 222,970) inc. premium
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, UK
ALFONS WALDE (1891-1958)
Bergsommer
signed 'A. Walde' (lower left); inscribed and dated '"Bergsommer 1937"' (on the artist's label on the reverse)
oil on board
59.9 x 42cm (23 9/16 x 16 9/16in).
Painted in 1937

Footnotes

  • The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by Herr Michael Walde-Berger. This work will be included in the forthcoming Alfons Walde catalogue raisonné under archive number D-LA-563, currently being prepared.

    Provenance
    Fritz Kronauer Collection, Zurich.
    Stanley & Joyce Foster Collection, Hellensburgh (a gift from the above circa 1960).
    John Foster Collection, Hellensburgh (by descent from the above in 1999).
    Thence by descent to the present owner.

    Alfons Walde's work has become synonymous with the idyllic mountain scenery of the Tyrol, capturing a timeless existence of snow-covered hillsides and villagers quietly attending to quotidian tasks. Born in the Tyrol in a village near Kitzbühel, Walde went to study fine art in Vienna in 1910 and was immediately influenced by the great Secessionists Schiele, Kokoschka and Klimt. In fact, his work from this period began to develop the beginnings of the technique and style for which he would become renowned, such as the thick impastoed application of blue, black and red, and his use of the end of his paintbrush as a tool to add texture to the surface of his paintings.

    Walde's time in Vienna was interrupted by the First World War, when he returned to the mountains on active duty as a member of the Tyrolean Kaiserschütze. Following this, he chose not to return to the capital and his studies, moving back to Kitzbühel instead, where he explored the themes of life on the mountainside in numerous oils featuring the local inhabitants going about their daily lives. Towards the mid-1920s Walde developed his style further, and reduced the landscapes and figures to simplified forms using bold applications of colour. This represented the formulation of his idea that all elements in nature were working in harmony, no element more meaningful or powerful than the other, including the men and women of the Tyrolean villages. Their faces are almost entirely impersonalised, as they walk the streets of the small clusters of houses, or bathe in the Alpine sun on a snowy slope, perfectly in sync with their calm surroundings.

    The seasons were of utmost importance to Walde, who revelled in depicting nature throughout series of works showing the same scene, whether the snow-covered mountains of Winterlandschaft or Aufstieg, or the dissipating snow and warm sunshine of scenes like the present work, Bergsommer. This work epitomises his mature style of the 1930s, with Walde's strong use of colour and texture used expertly to depict an idyllic summer scene.
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