Tag Archives: Carl von Marr

Carl Marr… Far from Home

At the young age of 16, Carl Marr left his home and family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to study art abroad in Munich, Germany.  The story goes that this homesick lad had shared his feelings of  sadness with his maid when he left go visit friends for a Christmas eve gathering.  Upon his return, Carl had been beautifully moved by the kind gesture of his maid friend who had set up this tree in hopes to lift the boy’s spirits.  In fact he was so inspired, he set up his easel and recorded the scene for generations to enjoy.  This work of Carl’s has always been one that I have been taken by and when visiting the museum, I make it a point to soak in its ambiance.

Apart from its general beauty, I have noticed several technical things that may be of interest…. Notice that every square inch of the canvas has an influence of red and green in it to balance the harmony.  As he did this from life, it makes seeing all of the color and attaining that  harmony much easier.  In terms of value, notice how much darker the tablecloth is compared to the candle flames.  This is necessary in order for the light effect to read.  In terms of edge, I have taken note of how Carl has softened the “architecture” of the furniture so as to keep the interest on the focal point.

Lastly, included below is a work that I  completed that features a stable or creche that my great-grandfather built for his family many, many years ago.  Enjoy… and Merry Christmas!

Click book for more info…thank you!

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Adoration of the Christ Child by Carl Marr


The story goes that this magnificent work by Carl Marr was deteriorating in damp storage at the University of Berkeley, California before it was recently given the light of day and beautifully restored.  Now on permanent display at the Wisconsin Museum of Art, this painting (just guessing, roughly 8′ x 14′), is an excellent example of Mr. Marr’s incredible ability to capture light.  The artist’s lyrical arrangement of the heads of the numerous angels has also captivated me as I have studied the work.  The positive and negative interplay of shapes is exquisite as well as the warm and cool dance that was employed to turn the forms.  Notice the cooling of tone at the top and back of the heads which creates greater dimension by rounding the head with temperature.  This is truly a great work of Carl’s and will always be a favorite of mine.  However, his magnum opus, ” The Flagellants”, is an even greater achievement of design and scale, which I hope to share with you when I can photograph it upon re-installation in the new museum… until then, I am glad you are enjoying his work as much as I have.




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