SCHWIND, Moritz von
(b. 1804, Wien, d. 1871, Niederpöcking)

A Player with a Hermit

c. 1846
Oil on cardboard, 61 x 46 cn
Neue Pinakothek, Munich

The forest seclusion and the appealing life of the hermit, the quiet of the trees and the retreat into a simple life close to nature were the expression of a new attitude to life. What Schwind painted here is the longing of the Biedermeier period for happiness in simple surroundings and for a calm that had long vanished in pre-industrial urban society. In his contemplative life committed to God, the pious hermit seemed to be manifesting a kind of religious feeling that was ideal because it was "private". The musicians feels at home here too, before setting off once more for the bustle of the towns.

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