Marianne von Werefkin
gouache on paper
21,5 x 12,2 cm (17 3/4 x 8 1/2 in.)
monogrammed lower right
In her 1916 painting of a "Castle with two riders in the valley" Marianne von Werefkin describes a medieval-looking scene with a fairy-tale air. Actually, the work is not focused on the two eponymous motifs, but on the dominant, steeply rising cliff edge, on whose summit the seemingly hermetic and forbidding castle is enthroned. With just a few dabs of color, Werefkin sketches the two riders in red coats at the foot of the rock massif, who rush out into the open field. The painting has, quite characteristic of Werefkin, a latently surreal atmosphere, which is caused by the threatening storm in the background. Marianne von Werefkin hints at an unknown story and fires the viewer's imagination, as in many of her seemingly floating scenes.