7_Junfern Bridge by_Baluschek

Jungfern BridgeHans Baluschek, date unknown

Hans Baluscehek (1870-1935) was born in Germany, in an area that is now Polish territory. He sought to portray the lives of ordinary working people as they really were. His paintings, depicting the drudgery of life for workers in Berlin and elsewhere, reflected his political views. Critics considered his work different and new, although sometimes lacking in finesse and good taste. Despite being in his 40s when the First World War broke out, Baluschek volunteered for service and was posted as a reservist first to the Western and then to the Eastern Front. He survived the war, but the catastrophic aftermath for Germany shocked him, and he distanced himself from the political scene that created the Weimar Republic. In the latter part of his life he created only a few illustrations and a sober self-portrait from which he looks out at us with a thoughtful and solemn expression.


Hans Baluschek [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Wrap Up Your Painting

  • What caught your eye immediately about the painting?
  • How did you describe the character of the built environment to yourself?
  • How did the air smell, in your imagination?
  • Did you think the person you focused on was affluent or not? How could you tell?
  • In what way, if any, did this guided noticing activity add to your original impressions of the painting?
  • How do you feel now you’ve completed this activity? If you enjoyed it, why not add more Look at Paintings audio guides to your week? And don’t forget, you can take these guides with you to your local gallery and try them whilst standing in front of ‘real life’ art