Taking the notion of ideal nature as its starting point, this rustic landscape was most likely not done directly in front of the motif. Instead, working from the imagination, the Dresden artist Wagner created a pastoral fantasy by introducing elements of the everyday, such as the ox cart at right, into a more generalised classical landscape. The skilful interplay of grey and brown washes gives an impression of soft light across the sheet. Wagner’s stylised rendering of foliage, which whirls and coils in a lively, almost calligraphic manner, imbues this tranquil scene with vitality and movement.
The Courtauld Gallery, London
© The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London