Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

German, 1884–1976

Flowerpot, n.d.

watercolour on paper

59.7 x 47.5 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the Eckhardt-Gramatté Foundation



Painting, International Art

German Expressionist painter Karl Schmidt-Rottluff was a founding member of a group of artists from Dresden called Die Brücke (The Bridge). The group was strongly influenced by tribal art and the vibrant paintings of artists like Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. In their art-making, they created a highly subjective and expressive style of art, elevating the emotional intensity of their work with bold colour combinations and distorted shapes. This still-life painting features a simple arrangement of forms set within a flattened picture plane, defined by a jarring juxtaposition of intense colours. The title of the work references Schmidt-Rottluff’s deeply felt sense of loss surrounding the death of close friend and fellow Expressionist painter Walter Gramatté. The paintbrushes—a memento of the late artist—appear illuminated in the light of the setting sun.

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