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Robert Zünd - "Das Säen" and "Die Ernte", n.d.


Robert Zünd - Das Säen and Die Ernte, n.d.
Oil on canvas
40 x 62,8 cm (each)

Robert Zünd (1827-1909) is known for his atmospheric and sunlit landscape paintings. He crafted rural scenes or landscapes that were exempt from industrialization or technologisation, as in the pieces presented here Das Säen (The Sowing) and Die Ernte (The Harvest).

In Das Säen (The Sowing)a majestic and beautifully elaborated tree and a sowing farmer take up the middle of the painting. They are positioned opposite of each other and divide the landscape into two sides. The left side seems to be wild and untouched versus the right side, that is occupied by a cultivated landscape. But Zünd depicted this confrontation completely harmoniously, so these worlds seem to merge in harmony. In his composition he chose not to contrast but to unite these two different landscapes.

A similar composition can be found in Die Ernte (The Harvest). Here the farmers and human activities are dispersed throughout the landscape, but again a small path divides the painting into two halves. Accross from each other are a group of farmers and a group of trees. Again, Zünd translates this idealized rural lifestyle - living in harmony with nature - into a visual composition.

Zünd’s sunlit, fertile and heavenly landscapes seem to reflect his world view and his concept of art. His landscapes both strive for realism and idealism, an observation that was also made by the Swiss author Gottfried Keller, who once visited Zünd in his studio and described his works as: “idealized real landscapes or realistic ideal landscapes”.

About artist
Robert Zünd
Luzern, 1827 — 1909

Robert Zünd (1827, Lucerne – 1909, Lucerne) is one of the more significant landscape painters of the 19th century. He received drawing and painting lessons from Jakob Schwegler (1793-1866). In 1848, the Nidwalden painter Joseph Zelger advised him to move to Geneva, where he made the acquaintances of François Diday and Alexandre Calame, subsequently being taught by the two artists. In 1852, Zünd travelled to Paris and found a new source of inspiration in the works by Dutch and French masters of the 17th century.
Zünd's works are characterized by a meticulous, detailed, and extraordinary naturalistic style of painting. He paid particular attention to the principles of classical composition. His motifs often include rural scenes or landscapes characterized by the absence of any traces of industrialization or human development.