Two German painters, contemporaries, reacted to the ‘age of catastrophe’ of 1914-1945 in very different ways. One painted a harsh and objective depiction of the world he saw. The other persisted in a rural idyll. Both approaches are political.
On 1 April 1944, Schaffhausen was mistakenly bombed. The municipal museum lost more than 80 paintings. Then, artworks to match the scale of the losses started arriving from all over Switzerland. Even now, this level of cultural donation is testament to the huge solidarity compatriots felt for the stricken city.
His, more than any other, was the hand that shaped Switzerland’s image in the 19th century: Zurich-born artist, watercolourist and art publisher Rudolf Dikenmann. His prints produced using the aquatint technique were churned out in their thousands: for travellers, collectors and members of the public.