Meyerheim’s Pomerania


I came across this painting while poking around on the interwebs the other day. I was looking for some visually-stimulating stagecoach imagery. A map of stagecoach routes just wasn’t cutting it.

The painting is much better. It is by Wilhelm Alexander Meyerheim, a German artist who was born in Danzig in 1815, at the end of the Napoleonic wars.

My interest in this piece, titled A STAGE COACH AT A HARBOUR IN POMERANIA, beyond its idyllic romanticism, is the fact that my mother’s family came to America from this very place, Pomerania. They were simple peasant farmers, precisely the people Meyerheim used as subjects.

Meyerheim’s father was a talented house painter who did portraits and introduced him to the profession. Initially an art student in Danzig, supplementing what his father had taught him, Meyerheim was drawn to the Academy of Arts in Berlin.

He also may have studied in Dusseldorf. He likely spent time sketching the peasantry around the countryside near Hesse and Tyrol.

“Meyerheim became a popular painter of scenes of everyday outdoor life – simple activities which included children and horses – his favorite subjects – silhouetted against the sky. Besides these charming genre scenes, he was also well known for his military subjects. Meyerheim eventually settled in Berlin, working there until his death.”

He died in 1882.

I don’t know how accurate his portrayals of life actually are. Was he faithful to reality? Or did he idealize it? Did he embellish?


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