This early 20th-century oil painting by A Herbe depicts a river landscape under turbulent evening sky.
Overhead, the dense passing clouds are punctuated by several limber birch trees. Following days of rain, the river bulges on this overcast day in the low countries.
With its emphasis on mood and tone, the artist, A Herbe, was probably influenced by the Hague School. This group, which included painters such as Anton Mauve and Jacob Maris, sought to convey feeling atop a naturalistic representation. Working predominantly outdoors, they, in turn, were influenced by the French Barbizon School (Camille Corot, Charles-François Daubigny etc).
However, despite our best efforts, it’s tricky to ascertain the artist’s true identity due to a series of incorrect attributions from auctions and dealers. They’ve been described previously as Dutch, French, Austrian and German. While their full name has been recorded as “Abraham Herbe”, “A. Siegfried Karl Herbe”, “Siegfried Karl Herbe” and, on the reverse of this painting, “A Herbemann”. A good example of the numerous discrepancies that exist in the art world.
But regardless, this is a most evocative work with its roots in the Dutch tradition.
Signed lower right and held within its original gilt frame.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 43½” x 33” / 110cm x 84cm
Year of creation: c. 1920
Condition: Artwork presents well. Canvas relined. Old repairs and areas of restoration. Frame with some light wear.