Wilhelm Maria Hubertus Leibl
The hunting dog
Oil on canvas
Signed upper right W.Leibl
27.5 x 25.5cm
Wilhelm Maria Hubertus Leibl born in Cologne on October 23, 1844 and died December 4, 1900 in Wuzburg was a German realist painter. He produced portraits as well as scenes of peasant life.
He paints reality as the eye sees it. He is credited with being the preeminent artist of a group known as the Leibl-Kreis (Leibl Circle) which included, among others; Carl Schuch, Wilhelm Trubner, Otto Scholderer and Hans Thomas.
In 1864 he joined the Munich Academy, where he studied with several artists including Carl Theodor von Piloty. In 1869, he set up a studio with the three German artists; Johann Sperl, Theodor Alt and Rudolph Hirth from Frênes. During this same period, Gustave Courbet went to Munich to exhibit and show local artists his alla prima technique, he also inspired Leibl in his way of painting and suggested he go to Paris. Following his advice, Leibl went to Paris in 1869 where he met Edouard Manet. However, he was forced to return to Munich in 1870 because of the Franco-Prussian War. In 1873, he left Munich to live in the Bavarian countryside, it was the ideal setting to paint daily scenes of peasant life. He pays particular attention to precision and design. In 1881 he painted his best known work; The three women in the church where precision and realism are at the heart of the work. Later in 1892, Leibl moved to the town of Kutterling, his pictorial style changed and united drawing with a new delicacy as well as luminosity. Gradually he abandons drawing, so he paints directly on his canvas with color, it is indeed an approach parallel to that of the Impressionists.
Indeed, if we take a closer look at our work, we see the importance of light and contrast, which translates into an alternation of light and dark touches. Mixing shades of bright creamy white on a light gray gives the dog's coat a shimmering effect. The vigorously brushed dark background as well as the cast shadows amplify the presence of the subject. The choice of the theme treated is not insignificant because the artist used to go hunting with his artist friend Johan Sperl as can be seen on other of these paintings such as "Wilhelm Leibl and Sperl on the hunt” painted in 1895.