Joseph Anton Koch
Heroic Landscape with Rainbow, 1812
Öl auf Leinwand, 188,4 x 170,1 cm
1850 durch König Ludwig I. aus dem Besitz der Münchner Kunstakademie erworben
Inv. Nr. WAF 447
Heroic Landscape with Rainbow
Koch began this large format work in 1804 in Rome without having received a commission. Completed in 1812, the painting was first presented in 1817 at the Academy Exhibition in Munich and was subsequently purchased by the Art Academy. Ludwig I acquired the work in 1850 for his collection of contemporary paintings. The Gulf of Salerno was the inspiring motif for Koch's magnificent landscape, which he had already used in a watercolor study as early as 1795. After the passing of a severe storm, the figures in the foreground look upon a world free of strife - an idealized "Superior Ancient Greece". Even the poisonous snakes are carried away by birds into the sky, heralding the advent of a new Golden Age. An enthusiastic supporter of the ideals of the French Revolution, Koch invested this vision of a new Arcadia with political meaning.