The Old Mill, Ambleside by Kurt Schwitters

Created by an artist best for his collages, this figurative work shows the Old Mill and surrounding hills of Ambleside, the Cumbrian village where Kurt Schwitters lived from 1945.

Details

Medium:
Oil on cardboard
Dimensions:
40.6 x 33 cm
Art Fund grant:
£2,500 ( Total: £8,000)
Acquired in:
2014
Vendor:
Mr & Mrs David Burns

After his status as a ‘degenerate artist’ in Nazi Germany resulted in a threatened arrest by the Gestapo, Schwitters began an exile that would take him to the Lake District via Norway, Scotland and the Isle of Man. After suffering a stroke, his ill health prompted a permanent move to Ambleside, where he was buried in 1948 after being granted British citizenship the day before his death. The rolling hills of the lakes had a profound impact on Schwitters’ later works, both in the increasingly organic forms of his abstract pieces and in his increasing move towards figurative painting. One of Ambleside’s most famous landmarks, the Old Mill on Stock Ghyll was one of the town’s last surviving watermills. Schwitters renders the mill in freely handled impasto, capturing the immediacy of his experience. In the middle distance, the grey slate rooftops of the former fulling mill can be seen against the dark backdrop of Loughrigg Fell, while the lemon sky is flecked with red.

Provenance

Harry Birckerstaff; thence by descent.

Venue details

Armitt Museum and Library Rydal Road, AMBLESIDE Cumbria LA22 9BL 01539 431212 www.armitt.com

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £3.50)

Mon - Sat, 10am - 5pm (last admission 4.30pm)

Closed over Christmas holidays

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