147. Walter Moras

Berlin 1856 – 1925 Bad Harzburg

View of the River Spree, Berlin

Walter Moras studied under the landscape and marine painter Hermann Eschke (1823–1900), who encouraged him to travel and paint en plein air. He went on a study trip to Norway when he was eighteen, a favourite destination for German painters at the time, who preferred the wild Nordic landscapes to the Arcadian scenes of the Italian Campagna. He also painted in the Netherlands and throughout northern Germany and the Baltic coast. Later in life, however, he focused on motifs closer to home in rural Brandenburg and above all in the Spreewald. Easily accessible from Berlin, it was a popular destination with the affluent bourgeoisie, and Moras found a steady market for his luminous forest landscapes. His finished works were painted in a naturalistic technique, probably using photographs as references. The cropped composition of this small study of a house along the river Spree also betrays the influence of photography. The woman appears caught mid-movement as she climbs up the stairs. Painted mostly in hues of browns and grey, the repeating blue squares between the windows and door add rhythm to the picture.