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Oil painting - Florence, Boboli Gardens and Cathedral
  • Florence, Boboli Gardens and Cathedral
    Heffner, Karl, born 1849 - died 1925
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Florence, Boboli Gardens and Cathedral

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (painted)

  • Date:

    1880 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Heffner, Karl, born 1849 - died 1925 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on panel

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Hill

  • Museum number:

    867E-1894

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Karl Heffner (1849-1925) was born in Würzburg where he first studied music. He was a pupil of Adolf Stademann (1824-1895) and Adolf Heinrich Lier (1826-1882) in Munich. He travelled extensively in Germany, England, Italy and Holland, exhibited in Vienna and Munich between 1873 and 1883, and in the Royal Academy in London between 1880 and 1881.

Heffner was one of the greatest exponents of the Munich School of Paintings led by A. Stademan and A. G. Lier who were his masters. This painting is part of group of six famous Italian views mounted together and depicts a view of Florence with the Boboli gardens in the foreground and the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (also known simply as the Duomo). Although his first trip to Italy is recorded in 1883, the present sketch is dated 1880. Following the Realist technique, this work was probably executed directly after the motif in open air. It work is a fine example of Heffner's mature manner, which became broader and sketchier over the years.

Physical description

An oil sketch showing the Boboli Gardens in Florence with a view of the Cathedral beyond.

Place of Origin

Florence (painted)

Date

1880 (painted)

Artist/maker

Heffner, Karl, born 1849 - died 1925 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on panel

Marks and inscriptions

'K. Heffner'
Signed by the artist, lower right

'25 Mars 1880'
Dated on the back

Dimensions

Height: 12 cm approx., Width: 21 cm approx., :

Object history note

Probably acquired directly from the artist (through Thomas Wallis?) by John Hill, of Streatham; by whom bequeathed to the museum in 1894

Historical significance: This painting is a fine example of Heffner's mature manner which became broader and sketchier under the influence of such English painters as John Turner and John Constable but also the French Realists Camille Corot and Théodore Rousseau.
The colours are here applied in a thick impasto, reminiscent of Paul Cézanne's technique. It is a good example of the Realist movement that developed in the Germanic countries in the second half of the 19th century under the influence of French realism and the Barbizon school. This work was probably executed in open air, following the tradition of Realist paintings.
This work may have been painted directly for the English market as Heffner regularly supplied pictures to the English art dealer Thomas Wallis, whose business activities brought to Munich. Such pictures attracted patrons and collectors and hitherto a great extent of Heffner's oeuvre is to be found in private collections rather in public institutions. Heffner executed another of famous views from Switzerland also owns by the museum (see 866A/E-1894).

Descriptive line

Oil Painting, 'Florence, Boboli Gardens and Cathedral', Karl Heffner, German school, 1880

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, II. 1800-1900, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, pp. 46-47, cat. no. 100.

Materials

Oil paint; Panel

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Garden; Cathedral

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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