Arcadian Landscape with classical Figures, 1792

Joseph Anton Koch

Obergiblen 1768 - 1839 Rome

Arcadian Landscape with classical Figures, 1792

Pen and ink in black and brown, brown wash, heightened with white
52 x 67,8 cm
Signed and dated lower left: "Koch . 1792"

After his first experience of Switzerland in early 1791 - still a student in Stuttgart - Koch refers in his diary to the brief 'pleasure of freedom in the land of freedom'. Switzerland enjoyed the reputation of lived freedom since Rousseau's fulgent praise. In the general uproar of the French Revolution Koch fled first to Strasbourg, where he joined the group of Jacobins. In September 1792 he moved to Basel. Here he began a series of arcadian landscapes executed in the 'sepia manner'. Dear to many late 18th century draftsmen. These landscapes do not imitate nature, instead, half invention and half naturalist, they stand in the tradition of the Idylls of Salomon Gessner. Koch already accentuates the clear and calculated architecture of landscape. Our sheet is an evocation of a poetic vision of an Antique arcadian existence.

Burckhard Collection, Basel (acquired directly from the artist c. 1793/95)
Thence by descent