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Exhibition of Johann Ludwig Bleuler (1792-1850) «The Phine Journey» from the collection of the Liechtenstein National Museum

From May 3 till July 8, 2019in the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus will be on display the exhibition of Johann Ludwig Bleuler’s landscape graphics ‘The Rhine Journey’, organized in cooperation with the Liechtenstein National Museum. The exhibition features 40 gouaches made in the first half of the 19th century.

Johann Ludwig (Louis) Bleuler (1792–1850) is an outstanding Swiss landscape painter. His central work is ‘The Rhine Journey’, consisting of 80 gouaches, in which the Rhine and its surroundings are presented throughout the great river — from the sources in the Swiss Alps to the mouth in the North Sea.

‘The Rhine Journey’ was created from 1827 to 1842/43, but J.L. Bleuler began making sketches of the Rhine landscapes in 1817–1818, while travelling along the Rhine valley. The coloured and black-and-white pictures were replicated in the master’s publishing firm, and then were sold to travellers. The Rhine maps were attached to the paintings to make it easier for travellers to find places presented by the artist.

Johann Ludwig (Louis) Bleuler was familiar with the public taste, and understood what exactly motifs would be most in demand. As a rule his landscapes are bright and sunny, with exquisitely drawn nature, fair weather and blue sky. The views of the Middle Rhine with its steep rocks, ancient cities and castles ruins were especially popular. As then the artist’s idea was to show the Rhine throughout its length, ‘The Rhine Journey’ also presents such places that rarely appeared in the artists’ works of that time. Many of the pictures by the Swiss master depict people who are engaged in their daily activities: pasture, chopping up the firewood, hunt, mowing, fishing, communication. J.L. Bleuler was also a distinguished master in ‘veduta’ — detailed cityscapes.

Johann Ludwig Bleuler’s landscapes were greatly popular. He was commissioned by not only ordinary travellers, but also the royalty of Austria, England, France, Prussia, Denmark and Russia.

The collection of original gouaches from ‘The Rhine Journey’ was donated to the Liechtenstein National Museum by collector Adulf Peter Goop (1921–2011), who collected 77 of 80 works of ‘The Rhine Journey’.

Curator of the exhibition — Franc Korzun, research officer in the exhibition department of the National Art Museum of the Republic of Belarus