Der Erlkönig
Moritz von Schwind (1804-1871)

Der Erlkönig,

um 1860
Material / Technology / Carrier
Öl auf Eichenholz
Dimensions of the object
32,2 x 45,3 cm
19. Jahrhundert
Inventory number
1865 durch Adolf Friedrich Graf von Schack erworben
Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen - Sammlung Schack München
Moritz von Schwind, Der Erlkönig, um 1860, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen - Sammlung Schack München, URL: (Last updated on 19.06.2023)
Goethe based his poem "Erlkönig" on a Danish folk ballad about the king of the elves and his daughters, which had been translated into German by Johann Gottfried Herder as `Erlking¿s Daughters¿. The ballad¿s proto-Romantic content is rooted in popular notions of the supernatural. Schnorr uses gestures to convey the threat inherent in the story, whereas Schwind bathes the scene in a pale half-light and emphasises the demonic aspect. In places, the outlines Schwind drew with rapid, flickering strokes of the pen show through the thin, loosely applied paint.

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