Description & Technical information

Edmund Steppes spent much time on sketching expeditions in the Bavarian countryside around Munich. Among the Old Master artists whose work he had examined was the 15th century painter and printmaker Martin Schongauer, who drew studies of plants. Like Schongauer, Steppes seems occasionally to have examined dried specimens for his studies of thistles and mosses. Most of his botanical drawings, however, suggest a more immediate study of fresh plants and meadow flowers, as recorded in several sketchbooks, with each sheet precisely dated and signed with the artist’s characteristic monogram. Many of his drawings and sketches were assiduously stored by the artist in boxes, although much of this material was lost when his studio was destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War.

Both studies on the present sheet appear to be of wetland flowers, with the main flower at the right of the composition probably a marsh-marigold or kingcup (Caltha palustris), found in marshes, fens and wet woodland throughout the Northern Hemisphere. A stylistically comparable study of two thistle leaves by Steppes, also signed and dated 1915, is in the collection of the Oberhausmuseum in Passau.

Date:  1915
Period:  20th century
Origin:  German
Medium: Pen and grey-black ink on buff paper; a page from a sketchbook.
Signature: Signed with a monogram and dated Ed St. 1915. in the centre.

Dimensions: 28.2 x 19.6 cm (11¹/₈ x 7³/₄ inches)
Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints