Object of the Day: A Painting by Carl Friedrich Koch, 1875
Almost jewel-like, this painting by Nineteenth-Century German Romantic Movement painter, Carl Friedrich Koch glimmers with brilliant color. A young couple strolls along a country lane, obviously courting. In the background, a misty church rises. Their path is lined with white roses and billowing foliage. The man—resplendent in his red coat and important hat—is focused solely on his companion. Meanwhile, the woman in her delicate pink gown glances at us knowingly from behind her parasol. She wants us to know that they’re in love and that she has been triumphant.
Carl Friedrich Koch (1856-1941) excelled in his representations of these romantic scenes. Also, a celebrated landscape painter, Koch had a talent for rendering richly-colored natural settings. Many of his paintings feature cherub-faced women with a glint of mischief in their eyes. Paintings such as his In the Garden, which typics a similar theme, hang in the world’s finest museums.
I’ve always enjoyed this painting. The figures have such personality and vibrancy. Every time I walk past it, I get the sense that they could stroll right out of the frame. Koch was a master of combining the elements of classical landscape with the romantic themes that were popular at the time. His work has a sense of both the contemporary and the traditional. To me, that’s a brilliant way to approach life.