In the Biedermeier scenes and idylls of the early works by Carl Spitzweg (1808–1885), odd misfits, soldiers, monks and maids are all featured in the middle-class provincial milieu of the time. Informed by a free painting style, however, the landscapes of his late works anticipate Impressionism.
Comprising 430 objects, the Werner Friedrich Ott Collection in the Stadtmuseum Ingolstadt includes, alongside paintings and drawings by Spitzweg, an extensive Historicist collection of arts-and-crafts objects. In a time when political, economic and social relations in Europe underwent complete change, the nobility and an increasingly stronger middle class often drew upon the authoritative symbolism used to establish their identity of earlier times.
They placed great value on the exquisite handcrafted work and most luxurious materials of their goblets, pitchers, services and jewellery items. Particularly coveted were objects furnished with dedications from prominent personages, such as Empress Elisabeth ‘Sisi’ of Austria.