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Oil painting - Rhenish Lowlands
  • Rhenish Lowlands
    Heffner, Karl, born 1849 - died 1925
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Rhenish Lowlands

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Munich (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1870-1894 (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 in the Rhenish lands with a cattle walking on the frozen surface of a river in the distance. Following the Realist technique, this work was probably executed directly after the motif in open air. This work belongs most likely to Heffner's early manner.

Physical description

A winter landscape with a frozen river on the right and a stripe of land on the left, in the distance a cattle walking on the frozen surface of the river, distant houses among trees on the river's bank in the background.

Place of Origin

Munich (probably, painted)


ca. 1870-1894 (painted)


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

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

'K. Heffner München'
Signed by the artist, lower left


Height: 31.75 cm estimate, Width: 97.2 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: The palette is dominated by monochrome hues of yellowish brown and the painting 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, 'Rhenish Lowlands', Karl Heffner, German school, ca. 1870-1894

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. 99.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Houses; Cattle; Bush; Landscape; Cows; River; Trees




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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