(b. 1858, Arco in Trentino, d. 1899, Schafberg ob Pontresina)

The Last Journey (Return to Native Soil)

Oil on canvas, 162 x 299 cm
Nationalgalerie, Berlin

This scene typifies an elegiac, melancholic aspect of European art of the fin-de-siècle. Here the Tyrolian painter shows a farm labourer's journey to burial, returned to the earth he had long worked, the cart bearing his coffin and a mourner now drawn by the same horse that had pulled his plow. Immutable mountains rising in the background, in what becomes akin to a frieze, contrast with the pathetic mortality of the foreground cortège.

This canvas was completed in 1895 and won the First International Prize given by the Italian government in the Venetian Biennale of that year.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.