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Erich Heckel

Brick Factory / Houses near Rome (Landscape near Rome)

oil on canvas, painted on both sides
1908 (Brick Factory), 1909 (Houses near Rome)
68,5 x 76 cm / 27 x 29 7/8 in.
signed with monogram and dated lower right on "Houses near Rome"

For Heckel, the summer retreats in Dangast near Oldenburg 1907-1910 were of great importance to his art. The colors, composition, and brushwork changed markedly in these years. The Ziegelei (brick factory) shown here is probably that owned by Günther Lauw in Bockhorn, not far from Dangast. It characteristically had two different chimneys. The flat building of the brick factory, bright yellow and orange, is nestled against the gently undulating meadow. The chimneys rise up into the dark blue sky, forming a geometric contrast to the landscape, which is horizontal in its composition and brushwork. In February 1909 Heckel set out on a journey to Italy. He was delighted with the light, colours, and the classic Italian monuments. Viewers of Häuser bei Rom are presented with an enormous spectrum of colours: intense yellow, green, blue, and red are divided into a landscape of dynamic lines, hatching, and gentle curves. His trip to Italy was a milestone in Heckel’s oeuvre, years later he stated: “It must be very important for us to have seen this southern, rich country, to have experienced its high standard of artworks, since one’s . . . gaze is sharpened for one’s own task in the fatherland.” Provenance available

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