Loeb Danish Ardt Collection - page 143

AUGUST F I SCHER
   ‒    
 .
Canal Scene from Nuremberg, Pegnitzufer Near Spitalbrügge,
Looking Towards the Synagogue,

(Kanalscene fra Nürnberg, Pegnitzufer ved Spitalbrügge, set mod Synagogen)
Oil on canvas,
⅔
x
⅓
in. (

x

cm)
Signed and dated lower left: Aug. Fischer

       :
Arne Bruun Rasmussen, Auction

,

, lot

, ill. p.

.
         :
Harald Hammer-Schenk,
Synagogen in Deutschland,
Hamburg

;
Die Architektur der Synagoge
, catalogue,
Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main

.
T
he motif by the River Pegnitz at the center of old Nuremberg was one of which Fischer painted sev-
eral variants. An old photograph from the place shows that the many picturesque houses on the right
are correctly reproduced topographically. On the other hand, the area on the left, which seems to be situ-
ated on the island of Schütt, is di
ff
erent in this and another larger painting of

(
²⁄₅
x
¼
in., or

.
x

cm), now in a private collection. Both the river bank and the trees in the background di
ff
er in various
respects. The spire on the left, which is seen in them both, is part of the Heilig-Geist-Spital, founded in

.
A large building with a dome in the right background forms a contrast to the small burghers’ houses
with overhangs and external galleries. It is the city’s synagogue, built


in German Romanesque
style with A. Wol
ff
(


) as its architect. The far side overlooks one of the central squares of the city,
the Hans-Sachs-Platz. In that period, the Jewish communities in Germany manifested themselves with syn-
agogues which in size and style—in this case historicism—could equal Christian churches and thus display
the status they represented in the society of the day.
Before World War II, Nuremberg was one of the German cities with the greatest numbers of houses
surviving from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance periods. Its huge signi
fi
cance for German history
inevitably led the National Socialists to regard it as archetypically German and thus an important symbol,
so in

the synagogue was demolished to great popular jubilation. During the winter of

,

% of the
Old City of Nuremberg was destroyed in Allied bombing raids. The network of streets has been preserved,
and many buildings have been reconstructed, but not this site, where a students’ hall of residence now
stands. So August Fischer’s painting reproduces an idyll that today has been lost.
Aarhus Kunstmuseum owns a smaller, but beautifully
fi
nished picture of Nuremberg by Fischer (inv.
no.

,

x
½
in.,

x

cm), a bequest from the prominent Århus merchant and margarine manufac-
turer, Otto Mønsted (


). It is dated

and shows a di
ff
erent view of the river, with the character-
istic houses and a woman washing clothes in the river water.
E.F.
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
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