Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Oil painting - Landscape, Evening
  • Landscape, Evening
    Heffner, Karl, born 1849 - died 1925
  • Enlarge image

Landscape, Evening

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Munich (painted)

  • Date:

    1875 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Heffner, Karl, born 1849 - died 1925 (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 and A. G. Lier who were his masters. This painting depicts a winter scene with a river, probably to be identified as the Isar river in Munich a small figure fishing in the foreground. Following the Realist technique, this work was probably executed directly after the motif in open air. It is a fine example of Heffner's early manner.

Physical description

In the foreground and retreating into the distance, a glassy expanse of water reflects the sky above it. In the lower left foreground a man stands fishing. In the lower right corner a man and woman stand by a smoking fire on the far bank, behind them is woodland. In the distance, on the horizon can be seen several buildings.

Place of Origin

Munich (painted)


1875 (painted)


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

Materials and Techniques

oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

'K HEFFNER München 1875'
signed and dated lower left


Height: 78 cm estimate, Width: 112.4 cm estimate, Height: 115.5 cm Frame, Width: 149.5 cm Frame, Depth: 11.5 cm Frame, :

Object history note

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

Historical significance: By comparison with similar scenes (see 864-1894) this painting most likely depicts the Isar river in Munich. It belongs to Heffner’s best known works of twilight winter scenes of the German countryside. The refined and almost monochrome brushwork is characteristic of his first manner before it evolves towards a broader technique inherited from such English painters as John Turner and John Constable but also the French Realists Camille Corot and Théodore 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. The poetic and fantastic effect of the large cloudy sky is reminiscent of the early Romantic approach to landscape paintings and seems characteristic of the Germanic Realism.
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 on canvas, 'Landscape, Evening', Karl Heffner, German school, 1875

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. 98.

Labels and date

American and European Art and Design 1800-1900'

Heffner, a successful painter of twilight landscapes, travelled widely in Europe, exhibiting in Vienna, Munich, Berlin, London, Rome and Paris. He was still alive in 1923. [1987-2006]


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

River; Landscape; Figures; Trees; Landscape




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.