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Nets and Sails Spread over a Meadow: Study for the Net Menders

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During his first two decades as a painter, Liebermann focused almost exclusively on themes concerned with the life and labor of farmers and fishermen. After Flax Barn of 1887 (Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin), his next large composition was Net Menders (1889; Kunsthalle, Hamburg), a scene of fishermen’s wives repairing their husbands’ nets on a beach. The painter Jozef Israëls, who had often depicted this subject, had drawn Liebermann’s attention to it when the two met in the autumn of 1884 in Scheveningen, Holland. Today Net Menders is one of Liebermann’s best-known paintings. Liebermann painted Nets and Sails Spread over a Meadow as a study, which he used later as a point of departure for Net Menders; indeed, it is one of the most impressive preliminary works for the 1889 painting. It shows a broad meadow, with a woman seated at the left in the middle distance, mending a net. Further away, three fishermen are laying out out additional nets. To the right of these figures, four large, red sails are spread out on the grass. These dark, red forms dominate the composition; they are in fact its main subject—an unusual device for Liebermann, who rarely introduced areas of such strong color so prominently in his paintings.
Title: Nets and Sails Spread over a Meadow: Study for the Net Menders
Description:
During his first two decades as a painter, Liebermann focused almost exclusively on themes concerned with the life and labor of farmers and fishermen.
After Flax Barn of 1887 (Alte Nationalgalerie, Berlin), his next large composition was Net Menders (1889; Kunsthalle, Hamburg), a scene of fishermen’s wives repairing their husbands’ nets on a beach.
The painter Jozef Israëls, who had often depicted this subject, had drawn Liebermann’s attention to it when the two met in the autumn of 1884 in Scheveningen, Holland.
Today Net Menders is one of Liebermann’s best-known paintings.
Liebermann painted Nets and Sails Spread over a Meadow as a study, which he used later as a point of departure for Net Menders; indeed, it is one of the most impressive preliminary works for the 1889 painting.
It shows a broad meadow, with a woman seated at the left in the middle distance, mending a net.
Further away, three fishermen are laying out out additional nets.
To the right of these figures, four large, red sails are spread out on the grass.
These dark, red forms dominate the composition; they are in fact its main subject—an unusual device for Liebermann, who rarely introduced areas of such strong color so prominently in his paintings.

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