Wintersonne im Engadin. 1914. Oil on canvas. Cf. Paffrath 1914_4 and 1914_21 . Lower left signed, dated and inscribed "Ponte Campowasto". 122.5 x 201 cm (48.2 x 79.1 in).
- Rediscovery after almost 100 years. - Characteristic high quality winter landscape by the Danish artist.. We are grateful to Mr. Hans Paffrath, Galerie Paffrath GmbH & Co. KG, Düsseldorf, for his kind support in cataloging this lot.
"Many of Mönsted's landscape pictures are so close to reality, while entirely doing without any severity, as if they could replace nature.” (Quote after: Iris Metje: Die Illusion von Wirklichkeit. Der Landschaftsmaler Peder Mø nsted (1859-1941), pp. 10-22, here p. 22, in: Peder Mø nsted. Zauber der Natur, catalog raisonné published by Galerie Paffrath, Düsseldorf 2013)
In addition to numerous summer landscapes, Mönsted's oeuvre also comprises large-sizesnow scapes with almost photo-realistic effects in which the reflecting surface of the water is the main eye-catching feature. With the deceptively reproduced reflections, Mönsted proves his true artistic ability. The painting offered here shows a snowy landscape in the Engadin, a high valley in the Swiss canton of Graubünden, which gained in popularity in context of the emergence of alpine tourism and associated bathing cures since the 1850s. The deep softness of the snow, the crystal clear waters of the river, and the high mountain peaks encompassing the valley add a high degree of immediacy to the view, an effect that is increased by a light atmosphere capturing the very moment. The first snowscapes in Mönsted’s oeuvre were created before the turn of the century and in the following decade, it reached its peak of importance after the First World War. In addition to the Engadine, Mönsted found further inspiration for these pictures around the Norwegian town of Lillehammer as well as in his home country Denmark. When Mönsted was particularly satisfied with a composition, he would make several versions of it. Every picture captivates with its unique blend of a notion of supernatural ideality and the momentary impression of nature. It is not the dramatically enraged nature or an unreal Arcadia that Mönsted shows us in his pictures, it rather is a well-chosen landscape characterized by an atmospheric naturalness. The image of nature serves the observer as a refuge of recreation and invites him to spiritual hike - an aspect that is subtly hinted at in our work by the freshly plowed path leading right into the picture.