Richard Ranft (1862-1931) was a Swiss painter, draftsman and graphic artist. He studied under Eugene Etienne Sordet, Augustin-Alexandre Dumont and Gustave Courbet in Geneva. He moved to Paris where he continued his education. He was a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. For years he exhibited at French Salons, including the Salon de la Rose-Croix. In his work he mainly dealt with landscape in oil, watercolor and pastel technique. His works were stylistically varied. He created both symbolic and decorative works. He is famous for his colorful lithographs depicting landscapes and scenes from social life.
Description of the painting:
The artist depicts a landscape with rural buildings in the background on the canvas. The lower edge of the painting is occupied by an irregular edge of the pond. It is covered with yellowed grass, which indicates late autumn. Behind it stretches a blue sheet of water, in which the buildings on the opposite bank are reflected. To the left edge of the picture, a boat with a silhouette of a figure is hidden in tall reeds. The second plan of the work occupies a vast valley. In addition to the colorful roofs of the houses, cone-shaped forms reminiscent of haystacks are visible. On the horizon line, a mountain range, covered with dense forest, is drawn. The view is crowned by a heavy, gray-blue sky.
The composition is built of horizontal strips crossed by triangular roofs and haystacks. The color palette is subdued, cool, based on yellows and blues. The artist differentiates surfaces by the way of applying paint. The grass in the foreground is accurately depicted with small brush strokes, while the cloudy sky is with wide, winding streaks. The work is harmonious, it introduces a mood of melancholy and contemplation.