Johann Heinrich Schilbach (Barchfeld 1798 - 1851 Darmstadt)
Mountain Brook Side, 1842
Oil on paper, laid down on cardboard
26 x 19.8 cm
Dorothea Koch, Darmstadt [granddaughter of the artist] Thence by descent
We are grateful to Dr. Peter Märker, Darmstadt, for his confirmation of the attribution to Schilbach
Johann Heinrich Schilbach received his early training under Georg Primavesi in Darmstadt 1813-15. Later he met the German painter Ernst Fries with whom he developed a close friendship, wandering with him through the countryside and environs of Heidelberg. In 1823, he travelled to Italy and stayed in Rome, in a circle of international artists such as Heinrich Reinhold, Carl Philipp Fohr, Ludwig Richter, Bertel Thorvaldsen and Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld until 1828. Back to Germany, he worked closely with August Lucas and Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, with whom he travelled to Switzerland twice in 1835.
The present sketch en plein air dates from one of these trips. It reflects Schilbach’s sensitivity towards the effects of light which are more visible in an oil sketch than in a finished painting. Within the colony of foreign artists in Rome of his day, Johann Heinrich Schilbach was one of the most gifted. His works are quite rare.
 In a letter by Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 22.7.1825, cited, Gisela Bergsträsser, Johann Heinrich Schilbach – Ein Darmstädter Maler der Romantik, Darmstadt 1959, p.41.  4th July and 2nd October. See Peter Märker, Der Traum vom Süden – Johann Heinrich Schilbach, Heidelberg 2000, p.17.  Paysages d’Italie. Les peintres du plein air (1780 - 1830), exh. cat. Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais Paris and Centro Internationale d’Arte e di Cultura di Palazzo Te, Mantua, Paris 2001, p.222.