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Oil painting - Evening on the Isar
  • Evening on the Isar
    Heffner, Karl, born 1849 - died 1925
  • Enlarge image

Evening on the Isar

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Munich (painted)

  • Date:

    1874 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by John Hill

  • Museum number:


  • 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 who was his master. This painting depicts a winter scene on the Isar river in Munich, with small figures in the foreground. Following the Realist technique, this work was probably executed directly after the motif in open air. This work is a fine example of Heffner's early manner.

Physical description

A wide winter landscape with leafless trees on the left and a river with small figures in the foreground; sunset in the background.

Place of Origin

Munich (painted)


1874 (painted)


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

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

'K Heffner München 74'
Signed and dated by the artist, lower right


Height: 43.8 cm estimate, Width: 84.2 cm estimate, :

Object history note

Probably acquired directly from the artist by John Hill, of Streatham; by whom bequeathed to the museum in 1894

Historical significance: This painting, which depicts a winter scene on the Isar river by sunset, is a good example of Heffner best known works. The refined and almost monochrome brushwork is characteristic of his first manner before it evolves towards a broader technique inherited from the English models of such painters as Turner and Constable but also the French Realist Corot and Rousseau.
The palette is dominated by monochrome hues of yellowish brown and 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 and later reworked in studio while the monochrome overall aspects provides the picture with an interesting photographic quality.
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.

Descriptive line

Oil painting, 'Evening on the Isar', Karl Heffner, German school, 1874

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

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, II. 1800-1900, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 46, cat. no. 97.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Winter; Trees; Landscape; Sunset; River




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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