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Oil painting - A Mountain Torrent
  • A Mountain Torrent
    Lindlar, Johann Wilhelm, born 1816 - died 1896
  • Enlarge image

A Mountain Torrent

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Dusseldorf (painted)

  • Date:

    1860s (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lindlar, Johann Wilhelm, born 1816 - died 1896 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John M. Parsons

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Johann Wilhelm Lindlar (1816-1896) was born in Bergisch Gladbach, near Köln and became a pupil of Johann Wilhelm Schirmer (1807-1863) at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie between 1845 and 1848. He settled in Düsseldorf and made several trips to the Alps. From 1867-71, he was appointed director of the Art Association for the Rhineland and Westphalia.

This painting is a fine example of the Late Romantic aesthetic developed in German art in the second half of the 19th century. The subject matter, a torrent in the Alps, high degree of finish and subdued palette dominated by grey and ochre pigments are characteristic of the German artists who emulated the art of Caspar David Friedrich and Johann Christian Dahl.

Physical description

A torrent flowing down a mountain versant, with pine trees on each side and summits covered with snow in the background.

Place of Origin

Dusseldorf (painted)


1860s (painted)


Lindlar, Johann Wilhelm, born 1816 - died 1896 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas


Height: 108 cm estimate, Width: 85 cm estimate, :

Object history note

Bequeathed by John M. Parsons, 1870

Historical significance: Lindlar had a prolific output and specialised in compositions depicting the Swiss Alps and the Mediterranean landscape of the northern Italian lakes. Most of these works were produced in his studio based on numerous realistic nature studies.
Lindlar however increases the realistic elements focusing on the power released by the natural elements such as this torrent swirling water dominated by the Alps summit under a wide atmospheric sky. To judge by the number of similar torrent scenes, this type of composition may have proved particularly popular regularly occurring at auctions.
This type of paintings with a particular focus on focus on Romanticism, the Sublime, and a high degree of idealization, was particularly praised in Düsseldorf, which was one of the main artistic centres with Munich in 19th-century Germany.
Such pictures were particularly popular with collectors and patrons of the 19th-century.

Historical context note

The word Romanticism derived from the medieval term 'romance' and was first used by the German poets and critics August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel to label a wider cultural movement beginning with the late 18th and ending towards the mid 19th century. Romanticism started first in Western Europe as a literary and philosophical movement and only gradually involved the other arts, explicitly around 1800. Romantic artists were fascinated by nature they interpreted as a mirror of the mind. They investigated human nature and personality, the folk culture, the national and ethnic origins, the medieval era, the exotic, the remote, the mysterious and the occult. The interest in the exotic and the non-Western, illustrated in France by such a painter as Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), as well as the medieval revival, witnessed in England by Horace Walpole (1717-1797), are perhaps the most identifiable parts of Romanticism. It is really in the Post-Napoleonic period that this movement gained ascendancy. Its greatest proponents were among others Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) and François-René de Chateaubriant (1768-1848) in France, Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) in England, Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) and Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) in Germany. In the visual arts, it was largely played out by 1850, but in music it persists for another generation.

Descriptive line

Oil painting, 'A Mountain Torrent', Johann Wilhelm Lindlar, German school, 1860s

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

Kauffmann, C.M. Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, II. 1800-1900 , London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 67, cat. no. 146.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Mountains; Stream; Snow; Landscape; Pine




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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