The summit of the Wetterhorn

Erich Merker
(1891-1973) German
Title The summit of the Wetterhorn
Category Recently Sold
Medium & Size Oil on canvas: 24x30 inc. (Frame: 30x36 Inc.) Signed & inscribed Munchen L/R
Price Band £5,000 - £10,000
Location Please Refer
Biography

This dramatic alpine landscape shows the summit of the Wetterhorn (Mittelhorn) with the Eiger far behind in the distance. The Wetterhorn (3701m) is in the Bernese Oberland of the Swiss Alps, close to the village of Grindelwald.

Erich Merker was an Alsace born impressionist painter who worked in Munich and Hamburg. Merker was also a gifted athlete, and was German champion in 1912, and the same year won the Ederhardt prize for hiking.

While Merker was not a member of the Nazi Party, many of his paintings were of German industry and commissioned by Adolf Hitler in order to celebrate the industrial infrastructure in fascist Germany. Merker took part in the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937, and was awarded the ‘Grand Gold Medal’ for a monumental oil painting. After 1945, Merker painted mainly on behalf of large companies, including MAN, Volkswagen and Bayer.

Merker travelled to Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Sweden and Norway during the 20’s. During this time he painted many impressionistic landscapes with spatula. The present painting falls into this period of the artist’s work, when a heavy impasto was applied using a large bristle brushes, and a palette knife used, creating startling realistic effects.

Many museums in Germany hold his work, including Berlin, Munich, Kiel, Heidelberg, and Munster. Works are also in the Grohmann Collection. The Milwaukee School of Engineering in Wisconsin has a museum to house a staggering 81 of Merker’s industrial paintings, donated by a wealthy industrialist.

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