There is unfortunately very little known about the German artist Herbert Ludwig. The works that remain suggest that the artist perhaps stayed in or remained fond of his hometown of Dresden, depicting the city in a sweeping scope of rooftops and spires.
He is buried in Stephanusfriedhof Cemetery within the city, alongside members of his family. There is evidence to suggest an artistic streak ran through their veins. Michael Ludwig (1933-2010) performed as an opera singer.
Indeed, Ludwig’s works do suggest an artist with a budding talent who perhaps used art to grapple with the changes occurring in the world around him, and in doing so also experimented with different art styles and genres.
Ludwig was producing art predominantly after World War One. This was a period of intense flux, especially in Germany, and the art world reflected these changes.
New art styles developed at a greater pace, taking on the precedent of 19th-century innovators and expanding them to new heights. In the aftermath of war, art could offer introspection and escapism.
Ludwig’s works have a distinctly post-impressionistic feel. His visible brushstrokes which lay down thick layers of paint upon the canvas seem reminiscent of Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). An interior scene of what is perhaps his home is captured in low light, sunlight creeping in through a window, lightly touching the edges of furniture and gilded golden frames. Even whilst the scene appears still, the light is captured at a moment of change, perhaps at sunset. The room seems to thrum with tension, the objects stationary yet their appearance changed by forces beyond them. Perhaps Ludwig was processing his thoughts on the rapid changes happening in Germany at the time.
Interior scenes and features seem to have been a focus of interest for Ludwig. A still life remains, delicate flowers painted in a rich, buttery yellow. Ludwig retains this strong use of colour throughout his oeuvre. Even works that slant towards a more realistic style are imbued with a vibrancy most likely informed by his post-impressionistic interest.
It is a shame that Herbert Ludwig has been shrouded by history. Nonetheless, the works of his which do remain offer a fascinating look at an artist painting at a great time of change, both for the world around him and the art world he so coveted.
Born in Dresden, Germany.
Died in Dresden, Germany. Buried in Stephanusfriedhof Cemetery, Dresden, Germany.