© Wolfgang Schmidt , W.SCHMIDT-CHEMNITZ


Special exhibition "Wilhelm Ostwald - Scientist and Landscape Painter

At a glance

Wilhelm Ostwald's fundamental legacy undoubtedly lies in his scientific research, for which he was honoured with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1909.

In private, Ostwald devoted himself to painting for many decades as a balance to his intensive intellectual work. In addition to the immediate surroundings of his residences, there are countless motifs that he painted on his study trips or holidays. They range from Grossbothen, Saxony, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea to Italy, Tenerife and the USA. Often they are wide, quiet landscape sections without any specific topographical reference. Repeatedly he also devoted himself to narrowly defined pictorial motifs of a biological or geological study character. The location of some of the pictures is therefore hardly possible and was obviously of secondary importance to Ostwald as a pictorial content. Rather, he sought to capture universal impressions of the natural environment.
Only very occasionally does architecture become an actual pictorial motif, and this despite the fact that Ostwald visited the USA several times between 1903 and 1906 and experienced some of the prospering cities with their early skyscrapers. Remarkably, his paintings do not reflect this spectacular form of contemporary development or even the mechanisation of industry, to which Ostwald certainly made a significant contribution. He devoted himself entirely in the sense of balancing professional scientific work on the one hand and personal creative painting, the sensation of nature, stillness, harmony on the other.
In the collection of the Wilhelm Ostwald Park, more than 1000 of these works have survived, mostly oil studies on paper as well as some watercolours and drawings. Ostwald himself did not see himself as an artist, yet it is worth taking an intensive look at this idiosyncratically fascinating part of his life's work. The exhibition "Wilhelm Ostwald - Scientist and Landscape Painter" is dedicated to presenting this aspect with an exemplary selection of Ostwald's landscape paintings, which can be viewed at Haus Werk from 11 November 2023 to 16 March 2024.

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Wilhelm Ostwald Park
Grimmaer Straße 25
04668 Grimma

Tel.: 034 384 73 49 152

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