Sechs Enten im Wasser by Alexander Koester

  • This oil on canvas by Alexander Koester captures six charming ducks on the water
  • Animal portraits from this renowned painter are beloved for their extraordinary personality
  • The artist was a virtuoso at capturing atmosphere with his impressionistic brushwork
  • Today, his animal paintings remain among the most popular of their genre
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 31-3364

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Alexander Koester
1864-1932 | German

Sechs Enten im Wasser
(Six Ducks in the Water)


Signed "A Koester" (lower right)
Oil on canvas

Alexander Koester is one of the great animal painters of art history, and this portrait of six ducks in the water is exemplary of his specialization. The artist was a virtuoso at capturing not just the charming personalities of his avian subjects, but also the overall atmosphere of their environment. Sechs Enten im Wasser displays his impressionistic handling of the brush as he deftly portrays the reflections of light on the surface of the water, the shimmering light and shadows on the ducks' feathers and the nuance of color in the foliage that surrounds them.

Born in Germany in 1864, Koester first trained to become an apothecary rather than an artist according to his parents' wishes. However, his passion for painting soon drove him away from the field, and he found a place studying under the genre painters Karl Hoff and Claus Meyer. During this period, he traveled extensively, making sketches that served as the basis for his genre paintings and composing portraits to earn his living. 

A turning point in his career came in 1891 after his first visit to Klausen in Southern Tyrol. He would return to this picturesque town time and time again, eventually settling there from 1896 to 1915. Working directly from nature, he developed the subject of painting for which he is best remembered today: the duck. Koester’s years in Klausen were undoubtedly the most creative of his career, and his scenic water landscapes earned him considerable recognition during his lifetime. He was awarded a gold medal at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904 and was later granted another gold medal by the Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria. Today, he remains known as Enten-Koester for his beloved duck portraits, which are among the finest animal paintings of their period.

Early 20th century

Canvas: 26 3/8" high x 21 9/16" wide
Frame: 35" high x 30 5/16" wide
Sechs Enten im Wasser by Alexander Koester
Period: 1816-1918
Origin: Germany
Type: Paintings
Depth: 1.75 Inches
Width: 30.31 Inches
Height: 35.0 Inches
Style: Impressionism
Canvas Width: 21.5625 Inches
Canvas Height: 26.375 Inches

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