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Picture Clock, C. L. Hoffmeister, attributed “Stages of Life”

Bilderuhr, C. L. Hoffmeister, zugeschr. Das Stufenalter des Menschen

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Vienna, second quarter of the 19th century

gilt bull’s eye frame
verge escapement, Viennese grande sonnerie on wire gongs, repeater, musical movement with two tunes by “Rzebitschek, Prague, no. 1658/24208”
oil on metal
24×30¼ in

In the 19th century, the depiction of life’s journey from youth to old age was a popular motif. In this picture clock painting, this topic forms part of an idealized landscape representation. In the foreground in front of a farmhouse is a mother with children; to the right by the river is a young couple in love; in the middle of the image are parents with two children on their travels, and lastly, supporting each other as they cross a bridge, we see the mature couple. The dial and windup of the clock are integrated into a little fortress. The distinctive, delicate figural painting and the balanced composition support the attribution of this piece to the famous picture clock painter C. L. Hoffmeister. Exceptional quality!

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