Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
Vienna 1793 – Hinterbrühl, Austria, 1865
Children on Their Way Home from School
Oil on paper mounted on wood
44.5 x 34.5 cm
Gift of the Éliane and Georges Jorisch family, inv. 2013.791
In this work, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, a major figure of the Biedermeier era, combines originality and the meticulous treatment of the subject, a rigorous realism and an innovative desire to capture natural light. In 1830, Waldmüller began spending his summers in the Berchtesgaden region in the Bavarian Alps. The pyramidal composition of Children on Their Way Home from School, dominated by the majestic Watzmann, shows the long road – literally and figuratively – travelled by two poor Bavarian children returning to the village. This exquisite painting belonged to the industrialist Viktor Zuckerkandl, an important patron of the Secession and collector of Gustav Klimt’s work. After his death, the painting passed on to his sister, Amalie Redlich. With the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany – known as the Anschluss – in 1938, she was deported and her assets seized. After hiding in Belgium during the war, Amalie’s grandson, Georges Jorisch, moved to Montreal in 1957. As heir, he succeeded in recuperating certain despoiled goods, including this precious work, which was later offered to the Museum in 2012.