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Austria 19th century

St. Peter's Churchyard in Winter

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St. Peter's Churchyard in Winter

Oil/canvas, 42,8 x 43,8 cm
signed bottom right: HBürkel.

go Inv. Nr.134

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follow BÜRKEL Heinrich

source 1802 Pirmasens/Rhineland-Palatinate - 1869 Munich


 BÜRKEL Heinrich
The master of early realistic Biedermeier landscape and genre painting in Munich studied at the Munich Academy in 1822/23, focusing on 17th-century Dutch art. At the Schleißheimer Galerie he copied, inter alia, the works of Philips Wouwerman (1619- 1668), Jacob Isaacksz. van Ruisdael (1628/29- 1682), Herman van Saftleven (1609- 1685), and Adriaen Brouwer (1605/06- 1638). He was also influenced by the work of Peter Hess (1792- 1871), a painter of battle scenes. From 1825 onwards, Bürkel, who together with other artists opposed the art generated by the Academy, was a member of the Münchner Kunstverein and participated in its exhibitions. He found his motifs on extended hikes through the foothills of the Alps and in the Tyrol, and primarily depicted scenes from rural life. With these works, he prepared the ground in Munich for genre painting and continued to influence art there far into the second half of the 19th century. After 1829, Bürkel, who counted Adalbert Stifter (1805- 1868) and Carl Spitzweg (1808- 1885) among his friends, went on frequent, and occasionally extended, visits to Italy.


enter Graveyard of St.-Peter's in Winter
Winter landscapes were among the artist's favourite motifs: from 1845 onwards, he painted several versions of the snow-covered graveyard. This work, which differs from the other versions primarily by the omission of St.Margaret's Chapel, formed part of Archduke Ludwig Viktor's collection at Schloss Kleßheim.
Executing his work with fine brushes and meticulous attention to detail, Bürkel combined landscape and genre painting into an atmospheric depiction. The graveyard, deeply covered in snow, lies between an arcaded wall and the Romanesque apse of St. Catherine's Chapel. In the silence of a winter morning, a monk sweeps a path through the snow. Above the rock which is crowned by the Hohensalzburg fortress, the sun comes out through the clouds. Cool, finely graded tones of grey and white determine the muted colouring. With great attention to the time of year and day, Bürkel captured the particular mood of the location. The old graveyard, enclosed by an arcaded wall and the rock face of the Mönchsberg with the so-called catacombs, which date back to the early Christian times of the Roman town Juvavum, was frequently depicted by the German Romantics, for whom it was a popular subject. Thirty years before, Carl Philipp Fohr (1795- 1818) and Ferdinand Olivier (1785- 1841) had already made watercolours and drawings of this ideal Romantic veduta in their sketchbooks.


go site Literature
Gabriele Groschner, Thomas Habersatter, Erika Mayr-Oehring (Ed.): Masterworks. Residenzgalerie Salzburg. Salzburg 2002, p. 118

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