Still life with roses and books,
Oil on canvas
Signed in the lower corner
Dimensions: 120 x 120cm
With frame: 137 x 137 cm
Walther Püttner represents “Still life with roses and books” around 1910. It depicts a still life on the theme of erudition and playfulness. The colored draperies mask the background of the scene, providing a colored background to the objects in the foreground. A few roses in a vase, a painted wooden harlequin doll, thick stacked books and a lush green plant are gathered on a table.
The orchestration of objects is skilful. The white sheet is laid carelessly, as if someone had just put it on the table. It offers a point of light and continuity in the composition.
The geometry of the harlequin’s costume echoes that of the vase of flowers. Finely crafted, it contrasts with the rusticity of the green plant’s terracotta pot. The leaves of the latter exceed in height the bouquet of roses until they come out of the frame. The out-of-frame suggests a space inaccessible to the spectator, ready to put his head through the window to access the interior space.
The young painter was trained by his father, Richard Püttner. He completes his know-how at the Munich Academy, in the workshop of Herterich and in that of Hœcker. He travels to Italy, discovers Mediterranean light and puts it into practice with regard to German light.
• Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art