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Hirtenjunge


 
 


WILHELM BUSCH (1832 - 1908)
Sitting Herder Boy (1852)



W
hich animals (whether cows or, more probably, geese) this boy has to guard is unclear since this drawing does not show him in his sphere of activity. It is rather a portrait of intentionally idyllic and pastoral quiescent attitude. In this comfortable pose which nevertheless appears slightly unnatural, the boy rests on a rise on which he is leaning with his right hand in a slightly forced manner, while his left hand lies on his pulled up thigh holding a switch with a relaxed grip. Positioned like a sceptre, this switch fulfills only the purpose of an attribute that marks the role of the described boy. The garb of the boy tosses itself since it is much too large for him.

The light falls across the hair combed loosely into the forehead. Wilhelm Busch presents the hair sections that are reflecting the light differently with shading layers of changing density and does not refrain from the use of internal outlines which function as borders bewteen brighter and darker planes. Aside from the hard shading with which the creases of the shirt sleeve is suggested, there are sections of dense hatching, especially in description of the garb. The wooden shoe on the foot stretched forward is held in soft plasticity, completely under avoidance of any line formation.