Art Kaleidoscope

Between art and craft

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors

Hermann Hesse, Nobel laureate 1946 – one of the most widely read authors of the XX century. All his art he called “protracted attempt to tell the story of my spiritual development”, “a biography of the soul.” One of the main themes of the writer – the fate of an artist in a hostile society, a place of true art in the world. Hermann Hesse began painting with great enthusiasm since the First World War. Being self-taught, the artist dabbled in different styles: from the naive art and modernism to the graphics. The main theme – landscape motifs in lush iridescent colors. Nature inspired Hesse and helped restore internal balance. Rich colors and soft light emanate from the pictures. Longing for harmony and happiness, Hermann Hesse has created the most significant legacy of 3000 watercolors. His paintings transfer the rainbow colors and beauty of Ticino – his chosen dwelling place on earth where he lived from 1919 and until his death in 1962.

Carona. Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors

Carona. Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors

In 1916, Hermann Hesse underwent psychoanalysis in clinic “Zonnmatt” near Lucerne. His doctor Lang urged him to express all his dreams on paper, but only in the form of drawings. The first works Hesse drew in Bern and around Locarno in Ticino. In 1917, Hesse became interested in the genre of self-portrait. In 1918 he undertook in Ticino further attempts to develop techniques of drawing, and illustrated his first book “Hiking” (published in 1920).

Caslanoberg. Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors

Caslanoberg. Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors

The first exhibition of watercolors by Hermann Hesse was held in the exhibition hall in Basel in 1920, the same year the journal “Wieland”, Munich, published the first reproduction of Hesse. In 1921 he published an album of “11 watercolors of Ticino.” In 1922 in Winterthur was held a joint exhibition of watercolors by Hermann Hesse and paintings by the artist Emil Nolde.

Chair with books

Chair with books. Painting by Hermann Hesse

After the death of Hermann Hesse (1962), an exhibitions of his watercolors were held everywhere: Tokyo (1976 and 1996), Paris (1977), New York and Montreal (1980), San Francisco and Chicago (1981), Madrid (1985), Luxembourg ( 1987), Hamburg (1992), Sapporo (1995).

February morning on Lake Lugano

February morning on Lake Lugano. Painting by Hermann Hesse

“My little watercolors – a kind of poetic fiction or dreams, they convey only a distant memory of “reality,” and change it according to personal feelings and sentiments (…) so that I am only an amateur and never forget about it.” (From a letter of 1919)

Garden stairs with vines

Garden stairs with vines

“To create with a pen and brush – it is for me like a good wine, intoxication from them is so warm …” (From a letter of 1920)

Hesse's Room

Hesse’s Room. Painting by Hermann Hesse

“The main theme – the simple landscape motifs, beyond that I’m likely to forge. As far as everything else is fine – the air, the animals, the movement and the most beautiful of all – people, of course…, and I can’t help painting” (From a letter of 1922)

House with Loggia

House with Loggia. Painting by Hermann Hesse

House with palm trees

House with palm trees. Painting by Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors. Lake and mountains

Lake and mountains. Painting by Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors. Magnolia

Magnolia

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors. Mask ball, around 1926

Mask ball, around 1926

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors. Mountains behind trees

Mountains behind trees. Painting by Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors. Rabbit hutch

Rabbit hutch. Painting by Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors. The sunflowers in a vase

The sunflowers in a vase

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors. Ticino village motif

Ticino village motif. Painting by Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors. Village, hills, mountains

Village, hills, mountains. Painting by Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse landscape watercolors. Zurich Motive

Zurich Motive. Painting by Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize winner in Literature

Hermann Hesse (2 July 1877 – 9 August 1962) was a German poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize winner in Literature

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