Hans Watzek (Austrian, 18481903)
Gum bichromate print; 19 3/4 x 25 1/16 in. (50.2 x 63.6 cm)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.405)
In photographs such as this charming pastoral image of grazing sheep, Watzek demonstrated why he is considered a leading member of the Vienna Photographic Secession (known as Das Kleeblatt). It is expertly composedbalanced but not predictably symmetricalwith a subtle blend of reticulated form in the foreground grass that takes full advantage of photography's tonal capabilities. His training as a draftsman no doubt aided his aesthetic choices and taught him to identify outdoor scenes intriguing to the eye. Among those who recognized his talent was Alfred Stieglitz, who reproduced this work, along with others by members of Das Kleeblatt, in the thirteenth issue of Camera Work in 1906.