Who was Carl Spitzweg?

Carl Spitzweg is the topic of the day and let me explain why.

I’ve been sharing a lot of street art with you over the years, but what about kitschy art?

The Attic, c. 1840s cc

Yeah, see, somehow that went under the radar. So, in the spirit of making lists I’ve picked a fine selection of kitschy artists. One for each month of the year.

Unfortunately, the commons are a bit stingy with nice pictures for most of those. I am yet to figure out, how to deal with that. I truly believe in copyright and blogging from Germany, I probably shouldn’t use quotes from people who aren’t dead for 80 years in the first place. Still, we need a bit more color in our lives.

Gnome Watching Railway Train, c. 1848 cc (It’s a gnome!)

Now back to Carl Spitzweg

He was a Romanticist painter and lived between 1808 and 1885.

German Romanticism has a lot to ask for in terms of kitsch, if you ask me. Oh, it is just dripping with cheesy symbolism to the point you wanna grab a cloth and clean up after it.

The Butterfly Hunter, 1840 cc

His chosen topics were the petit bourgeois, the weirdos and people with some sort of weakness. He was blessed with an eye for color, but from today’s standards, many of his pictures fall a bit flat. This in itself seems a problem with looking at older artworks, as he probably never intended to paint kitsch art. It is us and how we look at it from our frameworks. Is it really kitsch, if you produced an honest work of art? After all, he was a child of his time.

The Poor Poet, 1839 cc

Hands up, if you know someone who has this painting in their house!

Picture by Papafox on Pixabay

At the end of the day, art and kitsch are in the eye of the beholder. What I truly can call kitsch is artwork like this with the bear. Now wait, or is it a persiflage?

So please ladies and gentlemen help me out! Is this art or kitsch?

I may have opened Pandora’s box here…

Quote Tomas Kulka on #kitsch be kitschig blog berlin
Kitsch & Stock Emotions

Kitschy Crafts. A Celebration of Overlooked 20th-Century Crafts.

Best in Show: Knit Your Own Dog

The Garden Gnome Shortage of 2021

Be Kitschig on Pinterest I Instagram I Bloglovin I Facebook I Twitter

42 thoughts on “Who was Carl Spitzweg?

  1. It is both – we can like kitsch and art and a marriage of both is good. I do not know anyone with that painting hanging in their house, but likely it is because I am living over here? In America, lots of people own a poster or copy of the “The Scream” so that shoots my theory down.

    1. Mmh, I wouldn’t consider the scream kitsch as such, the problem sometimes arises with bad copies … I really think someones trash/kitsch is someone elses pleasure!

      1. Ha ha – the scream pic (which my boss had about three hanging around his office) has had many memes made of it on top of it. You’re right about that — something for everyone and the velvet paintings make a comeback every so many years, especially the ones of Elvis.

      2. Damn Linda, you did it again! Because of you I am head over heels in love with that leg lamp from that movie and now I really wonder why we don’t have a single velvet painting!!! πŸ˜‰

      3. Ha ha – Jeanine, we used to have this place called Gibralter Trade Center. They had everything you could imagine there and was a hoppin’ place on weekends. People used to talk about all the Elvis memorabilia you could buy, and knock-off items of his jewelry, shades, his jumpsuits and always the velvet photos of him. I’ll bet you could get the leg lamp with fishnets and a velvet Elvis on eBay! πŸ™‚

      4. Thanks for the Tip Linda! I’ve looked it up and the place looked amazing! I’m sure that was great fun … It’s a shame these kinda businesses slowly seem to disappear

      5. Yes, you’d have had a wonderful time there Jeanine. I was closest to the Gibralter store – a huge furniture store, but it used to be all out in the open and just weekends in the beginning. Something for everyone.

  2. Art. I love it, and I didn’t know about this until your post. I like his magical style and the quirkiness very much. The Gnome watching Railway Train and Butterfly Hunter are wonderful, but I like too The Attic. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    1. This was a reather interesting post in terms of reaction! I have to admit, Romanticism & I may have suffered a school trauma πŸ˜‰ I am happy you all seem to like it!
      There will be more comming. I am curious how this is gonna go!

  3. I never heard of Carl Spitzweg until today but I like his art a lot! He painted a gnome in all seriousness! πŸ™‚
    I checked out some of his other works. He painted with a sense of humour and told a story. Not afraid to be quirky either. Definitely art! I like Papafox as well. I’d call the bear painting an homage that makes me smile.

  4. For many years, I had a print of Spitzweg’s “Poor Poet” on my wall. It was a present from my wife many years ago, but I don’t know what happened to it. Apparently it got lost when we moved house the last time, or maybe it’s just rolled up in a cardboard tube somewhere.

    1. Fabolous! I could think of three people already. I am sure it got “lost”. There’s always someone who takes care of the kitsch πŸ˜‰

    1. Thank your Crystal. If you look close, he is burning old manuscripts to keep warm! I am also really happy, you learned a new word — and you should know plenty! Do you have a favorite word? I always really liked morose πŸ™‚

      1. I missed that, but see now. Definitely art. I also clicked into Papafox. Smart art.

        Hmm, favorite word? I like juxtapose, rhymes with morose.

      2. πŸ˜‚ Yes! I have a list. It’s probably almost a teenager by now. I just need to find it.

        Speaking of being mushroomed, I just finished a novel called Mexican Gothic. The house and characters were totally mushroomed.

      3. That sounds like a perfect text for your blurb text. I am curious! — Either way, let me know if you want to do a post together; might be fun.

  5. Carl Spitzweg was and is most foremost a Biedermeier painter, perhaps the most important one. Kitching means ‘cheesy’ or ugly, corny. If Spitzweg is kitschig, so is the whole Biedermeier time and I don’t think that’s a good idea.

    1. To me Biedermeier is kitsch as its best but I also don’t see kitsch as BAD. In terms of art, it does absolutely nothing for me but many people really hold it dear and that is probably the point. Embrace the quirky odd things whenever you can.
      Having said that, we have that kinda art that changes the picture if you move around in the room and that certainly isn’t high art …

      1. I only know Biedermeier furniture, which is more my expertise, and they are beautiful…far from kitschig. I don’t do kitschig in any for or way other than in old German/Austrian movies lol.

      2. He he, see, I truly believe most of us have some itch for kitsch!
        Spitzweg was a talented painter though. I want to have some fun with this topic! Let’s see how we go!

      3. I did not mean to take the fun out of it -so sorry. I won’t be commenting anymore. Enjoy and be kitschig. Whatever it is we love, we should do full-heartedly.

      4. Please don’t stop commenting. This is a space for many different opinions! After all, a comment is short and it is easy to get misunderstood between the lines — on both sides.
        Kitsch / art / good books […] is many things for differnet people. This is a place for quirk. I follow blogs whose writers are sometimes completely removed from my life or values and it really can open ones eye for completely different values or ideas.
        Here, it’s always with a wink … I really hope I didn’t offend you

      5. Oh no, not at all. I do get your point though of doing things holeheartedly. When I do a Schlager Sunday for example, it doesn’t always mean I like the song. I like to show rather than tell and I really like all the different opinions.
        Sigh. We cool?

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