I Too Have Been in Arcadia

Carl Wilhelm Kolbe - engraver

Carl Wilhelm Kolbe - engraver - I Too Have Been in Arcadia
Carl Wilhelm Kolbe, a painter and printmaker, studied at the Art Academy in Berlin. He was strongly impressed by the inventive power of the bucolic tales of the Swiss poet and graphic artist Salomon Gessner. The most remarkable corpus of Kolbe’s graphic art consists of 28 scenes that take place against an expansive background of naturalistic vegetation, which include the etching Auch ich war in Arkadien. Kolbe’s etching is briefly mentioned in the essay of Erwin Panofsky, „Et in Arcadia Ego: Poussin and the Elegiac Tradition“, that stresses the importance of this Latin motto in the fine arts, in the sense that death is present even in moments of bliss. According to Panofsky, Kolbe adopted here only the elegiac mood of death and by emphasizing the lovers’ mutual captivation, he weakened the story’s moral message. Nonetheless, the tomb, although hidden in the dark overgrowth, remains a significant memento for the message of this print.
measurements: height 409 mm
width 527 mm
material: paper
technique: etching
inventory number: R 17125
gallery collection: Collection of Prints and Drawings