Seven ducks
Oil on Canvas : 24 x 32 inches ( 61 x 81 cm )
Alexander Koester
German, 1864-1932

We are actively seeking to acquire paintings by Alexander Koester. 

Alexander Koester (along with Heinrich von Zugel) was one of the most important Impressionist animal painters from the Munich School. Originally pressured by his family to become a pharmacist, Koester abandoned his studies and entered the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe. There he trained under some of the most established painters in Germany such as Carl Hoff, Claus Meyer, Von Zugel and Leopold von Kalckreuth. Koester’s main residence was in Munich but he spent most of his time painting in Klausen in the Tyrol. His early pictures were genre scenes of Tyrolian folk life and landscapes, later specializing in painting ducks, which would establish his reputation.

Koester attracted attention the moment he first exhibited a painting of ducks in Berlin in 1899. For him, it was not just ducks as living creatures that were of interest, but rather the effects of sunlight on the birds' feathers. Like the Impressionists, Koester was intrigued by the fleeting play of light on water and leaves. The rhythmical qualities of his duck paintings, in which the birds move in gracious formation, give these pictures an almost musical quality, which is perhaps no coincidence, given that Koester was an accomplished violinist and collector of violins. The present work, in which the ducks move serenely through the water, might be compared in musical terms to the calm of an adagio.

Koester remained faithful to his subject matter throughout what were turbulent years in the development of German art. In the 1920s, when Expressionism was making headlines, and already the Blauer Reiter and Brucke movements had been relegated to the annals of art history, Koester continued to paint in his uniquely impressionistic and highly popular style