Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: Count Eberhard Cutting the Table-Cloth, 1847

Count Eberhard Cutting the Table-Cloth, 1847
The Victoria & Albert Museum

As we prepare for Thanksgiving in the U.S., let’s take a look at the sort of scene we don’t want to develop around the steaming bird. In this painting by Carl Johann Lasch from 1847, we see “Count Eberhard Cutting the Table-Cloth.” The scene takes place in a well-appointed dining room with a guard in armor and two men in medieval costume who sit around a table. The older, bearded man cuts the tablecloth with a knife while the younger man is looking down at a dog.

This sort of historical scene was typical of the paintings produced by the Munich School, one the two main artistic centers in Nineteenth-century Germany. The scene here is a retelling of a famous take as the Count Eberhard II, Count of Württemberg (1315-92) cuts the tablecloth to show his anger with his son. This concept was inspired by a ballad by the poet Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862). Lasch, the artist, has a keen interest in history and the origins of families.

Carl Johann Lasch (1822-1888) was born in Leipzig and was a pupil of the Academy in Dresden and of Schnorr and Kaultach in Munich. After travelling the world, he became a painting instructor in Munich by the 1860s.

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