Traugott Schiess ( 1834 - 1869 )

The Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland

The Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland

pencil, wash and chalks on toned paper,
overall 9 x 231/2in. (23 x 60cm.)
inscribed and dated: Matterhorn in Zermatt 1861

Peaks & Glaciers 2021 cat p.9

Schiess used both pages of his sketchbook to work up this fine watercolour of the Matterhorn. The detailed areas, such as the seracs on the terminal part of the Gorner Glacier in the middle of the composition and the handling of the farm buildings in the foreground contrast with the looser definition of the green expanses of meadow and forest. Despite its popularity later in the century, at the time this drawing was made, getting to the valley and village of Zermatt was an undertaking on its own.

Although Schiess’s working career as a landscape artist lasted only fifteen years, he was a prolific painter and undertook annual painting and sketching trips every summer from 1857 to the end of his life. He studied in Johann Gottfried Steffan’s studio in Munich and married his daughter, Emilie, a few years later.

Traugott Schiess