Lilly's Art

Small Picture Clock, Workshop C. L. Hoffmeister

Kleine Bilderuhr Werkstätte C L Hoffmeister


Vienna, first half of the 19th century

gilt bull´s eye frame
oil on metal
anchor escapement, half hour strike on wire gong, musical movement with two tunes by “Willenbacher & Rzebitschek, Prag” (no. 1494 and 16979)
15 ½ × 17 ¾ in

This enchanting and one-of-a-kind miniature Viennese picture clock depicts an idyllic summer park landscape during the Biedermeier period with a staffage of elegantly clothed, sauntering figures. Motifs reflecting the lifestyle of this period were very popular at the time; the bourgeoisie was cultivating its private and family life to a new extent. People were interested in nature; they undertook walks and excursions in the nearby and wider surroundings. In a picturesque parkland with a magnificent building, people stroll as a form of pastime and edification, while social contacts are established and maintained. The figures admire a small fountain and a statue showing a youth with a torch. This sculpture is most likely the Greek god Hymenaeus, the god of weddings and the festivities. The illustration and gentle color palette of the picture clock have a particularly appealing and harmonious effect on the observer.

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