Favorites: Adolf Dietrich

Favorites: Adolf Dietrich

Now and then, I'll spend the day at the UGA Library, where Simon works, and have a research day. I found this incredible book from the University of Chicago Press of artist Adolf Dietrich on one of these trips. 

Adolf Dietrich (1877-1957) was a self-taught Swiss artist. In his time, he was labeled a peasant artist, though today his work is renowned. He had no training in art and worked as a day laborer in a textile mill and as a farm hand on his family's farm. He was able to enjoy fame later in life and support himself through the sales of his paintings. He remained humble through it all, staying in his small village of Berlingen away from the art centers and critics. 

The look and feel of Dietrich's paintings are captivating to me. His love of nature and everyday life is apparent in his work. Each piece is crystal clear, not only through the bold colors he chose or his sharp line work but in his sincerity in representing the landscapes and nature he was drawn to.

His use of composition and scale inspires my work. His paintings' flatness is reminiscent of folk art, but he adds just the right amount of shadow and detail to create multiple planes in his work. I love finding the highly detailed insects in his landscape paintings. And his portraits convey both warmth and fascination with the eerily painted eyes and smooth skin.  

Here he is, gently holding the white guinea pig that appears in his painting!

His love of nature is apparent in all his paintings
I love the wacky perspective here; terracotta pots on top of the aquarium, a bird perched on a bowl in front, and two bunnies on a side bench. 
He was drawn to the wildlife surrounding the lake he lived by.
I can't get over the little bird perched on his shoe! You know that must have happened!
I love the three planes in this painting: the grapes up close, the near orchard, and the far lakeside. Also, spiders and caterpillars hide in the grapevine.
The dog! The reflection of the clouds in the lake, the tiny people walking. I could look through this painting all day.
I love how clear and warm her eyes are.
This portrait fascinates me. 
Another highly detailed scene that keeps your eye searching. Dietrich was quite the draftsman.
I'm waiting for my next research day at the library, but I'll likely hoard this beautiful book a little longer. 


All images from Adolf Dietrich in His Time and Beyond, University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Comments (1)

  • Becky on Apr 03, 2023

    Thanks for sharing him with us. I love them all too!!

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