- Joseph Anton Koch spent most of his life in Rome where he became a pivotal figure in 19th-century German landscape painting.Combining French classical traditions with an emerging Romanticism, the genre flowered anew in Koch’s hands. Constructing a “heroic” landscape in which human figures are presented in nature as an expression of eternal majesty and grandeur, Koch transformed natural elements into idyllic, often stagelike spatial structures. A radiant, eternally blue sky symbolizes the timeless, universal validity of nature, God’s creation. The Old Testament tale of Ruth and Boaz depicted here tells the story of how the widowed Ruth faithfully accompanied her mother-in-law, Naomi, back to her homeland where, while gleaning wheat, she met and later married the owner of the fields, Boaz. This story of love and family devotion would have appealed to the German nationalist sentiment that emphasized family virtues.
- Landscape with Ruth and Boaz