Eye Candy for Today: Carl Wihelm Kolbe etching

Dead Oak Tree, Carl Wihelm Kolbe, etching
A Dead Oak Tree, Carl Wihelm Kolbe

Etching on laid paper, roughly 14 x 20 inches (37 x 52 cm),

Link is to zoomable version on Google Art Project; original is in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, DC, which has a downloadable high-res version of the image.

Kolbe was noted for his intricately detailed portrayals of natural forms, both real and fantastical. What I admire most about this drawing (an etching is essentially a drawing), is the wonderful control of value.

Kolbe has used hatching and stipple to render the foreground form with visceral texture and contrast, but is still able to give the background elements a similar feeling of tactile detail while pushing them back with atmospheric perspective.


5 Replies to “Eye Candy for Today: Carl Wihelm Kolbe etching”

  1. Kolbe was also a language scientist (Sprachwissenschaftler), influenced by his French Mother.
    His book is entitled ‘Über den Wortreichtum der deutschen und französischen Sprache und beider Anlage zur Poësie; nebst andern Bemerkungen, Sprache und Litteraratur betreffend’. Zweiter Band Leipzig 1806. (University of Chicago Library)
    BTW, he was the 9th child of his parents.

  2. My pleasure, Charley.
    Could finally figure out his Mother’s name, Jeanne Rollet.
    Carl Wilhelm Kolbe was born in Berlin.
    Aka Kolbe, Carl Wilhelm, der Ältere (the Elder)
    Kolbe, Carl Wilhelm, d.Ä.
    Eichen-Kolbe (Pseudonym)
    Eichen-Kolbe, Carl Wilhelm
    Kolbe, Carl Guil.
    Kolbe, Karl Wilhelm, der Ältere
    Kolbe, Guillaume
    Kolbe, Karl Wilhelm
    Kolbe, Carl Wilhelm
    Sculptor Johann Gottfried Schadow made a portrait of Kolbe smoking a long pipe in 1823 in graphite.

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