Kretschmer, Carl

1769 Brunswick ‐ 1847 Berlin
"Melancholia", 1805
93.5 x 75.5 cm
Oil on canvas
Fine Art
Galerie Paffrath
48,000 €

A woman leans her head on a marble parapet and looks up at the sky. She is wrapped in a fine green cloth, next to her is a basket of fresh flowers. Her wild curls play around the red ribbon that holds her hair together. A wide landscape with mountains can be seen in the background. It is the personification of melancholy - Melancholia. The inventor of this personification with the face supported in his hand is Albrecht Dürer, whose print "Melencolia I" had a decisive influence on the history of art. The motif stands for the genius who is in a certain state of mind: it is willing to create something, but unable to act. Kretschmar chooses a young woman for the thoughtful person, whose illuminated face is emphasized by the wild curls. The thoughts and inner will are expressed through the gaze as the body withdraws into the cloth. Kretschmar will probably have used a young woman as a model, if it is not even a portrait with a lyrical charge. Unfortunately, it is not known who the woman was in real life.