Around 1800, novel motifs, new techniques, and changes in the conditions in which artists worked propelled innovations in the painterly depiction of the landscape. Painters left the studio to roam scenic landscapes; the interior spaces of the imagination faded away as the immediate experience of nature beckoned. The intimate landscape painting emerged as the format conveying this personal experience of the natural scene; some pictures have a strikingly modern air and seem to anticipate the art of the Impressionists.
In the exhibition, the Christoph Heilmann Collection with its wide spectrum of landscapes by German, French, and Scandinavian artists finds itself in company that is inspiring in more than one regard. A dialogue unfolds between two visual media that were at the forefront of creative innovation in the nineteenth century: oil sketches painted on the scene or from recent memory from the Christoph Heilmann Foundation and early landscape photographs from the Münchner Stadtmuseum.
How did landscape painters and photographers in the nineteenth century see and depict the natural scene? Examples from the dawn of nature photography show that, like their brush-wielding colleagues, the men with the cameras departed from the well-traveled roads, sought out remote locales, and studied the weather and the rich variety of meteorological phenomena. The exhibition spotlights the fresh perspectives on nature pioneered by a rising generation of landscape painters and the spectacular new vistas and insights gleaned by the photographers who followed in their footsteps.