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Karl Rettich, Boats on the Beach

Rettich, Karl Lorenz (Rosenhagen, Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 1841 – Lübeck 1904). Boats on the Beach. Under towering clouds with the sun breaking through three coastal sailers along with several smaller boats. Front right on the beach anchor, in the background indicated cliff coast. Pencil drawing raised with white. Inscribed in pencil on the back: K Rettich fecit. 10¾ × 7½ in (273 × 190 mm).

Boetticher II, 1 (1898), pp. 394 ff.; Thieme-Becker XXVIII (1934), p. 192; Joachim Puttkammer, Bildende Künstler in Graal-Müritz (2003). – On sturdy laid paper.

Rettich , descending from an old Lübeck family and born on his father’s manor situated near Dassow, went, after attending the Katharineum, to Munich in 1861 to study law on his father’s request. However, at the same time he applied himself to the art as pupil of landscapists Adolf Lier and Johann Gottfried Steffan. Further stations are from 1863 Dusseldorf with Albert Flamm and – after three-years intermezzo in Dresden – Weimar, where he concluded his studies with Böcklin, Theodor Joseph Hagen and Lenbach. Study trips in these days led him to the North and Baltic Sea as well as Norway and Sweden, but also Italy. Back in Munich since 1886, a rift with the artist association there had him return to Lübeck in 1896. Henceforth he spent the summer months in Graal though:

“ Graal-Müritz is no artistic place like Worpswede or Ahrenshoop … Rather by chance notable painters like Karl Rettich or Lyonel Feininger came here … In April 1897 he accompanied his sister Auguste, who vacationed in the rising spa since several years, to Graal. There the plan matured within him to stay on the Baltic Sea during summer and to work, and to spend the winter with the family in Lübeck. He bought a house in the newly laid street of mansions ‘To the Green Gate’ on the edge of the wood where the bathers always passed by when they were bound for the sea. There they saw his pictures, and in the vacation season many readily took such works as souvenirs of the fine summer … That Rettich kept an open house and soon became the cultural center of the place, furthered the sale of his works and benefited the young spa. His delineations of the Rostock heath in color and black and white were published as concertina folders and in portfolios, yet above all as postcards which the vacationers readily sent all over the world. By this the artist contributed greatly to make the Baltic Sea spa known and popular ”

(Puttkammer, op. cit.). And, quoting from the obituary of Rostocker Zeitung of 24 September 1904,

“ With him German art lost one of the best delineators of the North German landscape surged around by the Baltic Sea … He was a man of rare creative power and zest to work, the number of his pictures is extraordinarily large … ”

Although above all landscapist, in his comprehensive work – Boetticher records just until 1897 as the year of his return to Lübeck 118 paintings beside 5 watercolors and 6 etchings – there are, little surprising considering his roots to which he returned regularly also during his Munich days, also quite a few beach scenes and seascapes not only from Norway, but also from the Baltic Sea, including i. a. from 1870 Wreck at the Baltic Sea, Beach on the Baltic Sea after the Storm Flood (1872), Beach with Shipwreck and Seascape (1878 and 1879 resp.), Beach on the Baltic Sea at approaching Thunderstorm (1888), Evening on the Beach on the Baltic Sea (1892) and Fishing Village by the Beach on the Baltic Sea (1894). Apart from that, however, so Oscar Gehrig in Th.-B.,

“ … (Rettich) belongs with K. Malchin and P. Müller-Kaempf to the discoverers of the painterly Fischland (colony Ahrenshoop). ”

Offer no. 29,038 | EUR 630. | export price EUR 599. (c. US$ 724.) + shipping