Distillers Blog
Species Rara | 27 Jun. 2016

Hans Thoma

The Painter from the Black Forest

Hans Thoma

Born in Bernau (Black Forest) in 1839, painting offered Hans Thoma a way to escape his origins. After the death of his father, a trained miller who later worked as a lumberjack in the Black Forest, Thoma had to provide for his mother and sister, and so he began painting portraits and landscapes for the homes of prosperous farmers. The young “peasant painter” caught the attention of the bailiff of St. Blasien, who recommended Thoma for a scholarship to the Grand-Ducal Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. Though he was ridiculed as a “chicken painter,” Thoma stayed true to himself, creating images that reflected his Black Forest home. He remained an outsider, even after his move to Düsseldorf in 1867. It wasn’t until he took a trip to Paris with fellow student Otto Scholderer that he was able to break out of this role. In the realism of Gustave Courbet, Thoma saw “his art” exhibited on a grand stage. This encounter provided enduring inspiration that is evident in countless later works. Though Thoma, who died in Karlsruhe in 1924, has since faded from memory, in 1909 he earned a mention in Meyer’s encyclopedia as “the favorite painter of the German people” The title honors this modern figure, whose art held fast to idyllic rural scenes despite advancing industrialization. Influenced by the lyrical pantheism of his early works, Thoma later focused largely on landscapes before also turning to more religious themes. In his later years, he worked intensively on his “Thoma-Kapelle,” which depicted scenes from the life and work of Jesus Christ.

The Hans Thoma Art Museum in Bernau exhibits the multifaceted work of the once beloved lanscape and portrait artist (including numerous self portraits) – a true son of the Black Forest, whose origins had an enduring effect on his work.

Species Rara | 15 Aug. 2016

The Radhaube

High fashion from 19th-century Villingen

The Radhaube
© Sebastian Wehrle

The golden Radhaube – pictured here in all its splendour – is the result of up to 400 hours of sheer artisanal craftsmanship. Though it does require a great deal of endurance from the women who weave it, this traditional headwear serves to this day as a reminder of the good old days in southwest...

» read more

Species Rara | 13 Jun. 2016

Tales from the Black Forest

The Eichener Lake – A Lake Mostly Without Water – Schopfheim-Eichen

Tales from the Black Forest

In the far south lies the small town of Schopfheim next to the Black Forest, and the lake in the district of Eichen is a temperamental wonder of Mother Nature. For most of the time, it is a dry lake and only fills up occasionally in wet years. And this can happen overnight. This unusual body of...

» read more

Species Rara | 30 May. 2016

The Hornkappe

Like a big, black butterfly

The Hornkappe
© Sebastian Wehrle

As most traditions do, the Hornkappe constantly evolved over the centuries before its most recent form came to be defined by its strikingly large black bow and long fringe around the year 1890. It takes quite a few metres of silk to create such a bow, which was worn by the local rural population...

» read more

Species Rara | 17 May. 2016

Tales from the Black Forest

The Thousand-Year-Old Lime – What Now, Old Tree? – Ettlingen-Schluttenbach

Tales from the Black Forest

Propped upright, there she stands, the Old Lady of Schluttenbach. One ailment follows the other, and the residents of the highest and smallest district of Ettlingen are concerned. Everything could be so wonderful: a village square, a fountain, a choir, a lime tree, and a festival. Once a year,...

» read more

Species Rara | 02 May. 2016

Carl Friedrich Benz

The Most Beautiful Sound from the Black Forest

Carl Friedrich Benz
© ullstein bild-ullstein bild

In November 1844, a pioneer was born in Mühlburg, in the lovely Black Forest, whose patent now dominates our streetscape: Carl Friedrich Benz. As a graduate mechanical engineer, he’s one of the most important industrial engineers in the history of the global economy, who in 1885, created the...

» read more

Species Rara | 18 Apr. 2016

Tales from the Black Forest

Markus Dirr – Dedicated to Good Taste

Tales from the Black Forest

Markus Dirr first tasted Monkey47 at Schöllmanns, an exclusive bar in Offenburg. Not too far away for him. He lives and works in Endingen am Kaiserstuhl and adopts a similar approach to the Black Forest dry gin: The finest home-grown ingredients combined with ingenious ideas from throughout the...

» read more

Species Rara | 29 Mar. 2016

Tales from the Black Forest

Gin and Other Medicines

Tales from the Black Forest

With everything that you find in the Ratsapotheke pharmacy in the small Black Forest town of Schiltach, you could start producing your own Monkey 47. For the pharmacy museum has, amongst other things, distillation apparatus and a vast array of botanicals on display – certainly more than the 47...

» read more

Species Rara | 14 Mar. 2016

Tales from the Black Forest

Steampunk in the Black Forest – Eccentric Time Travel

Tales from the Black Forest

Jules Verne and H.G. Wells as well as modern-day science fiction writers such as Bruce Sterling and William Gibson have dared to experiment, writing about the future of a past that never was. What would have happened if...? If the petrol engine had never replaced steam power? If gigantic...

» read more

Species Rara | 01 Feb. 2016

The Straw Top Hat

Timeless Traditions

The Straw Top Hat
© Sebastian Wehrle

Whoever hears the word “Black Forest” thinks instinctively of the renowned cuckoo clock and sees pass before their spiritual eyes the hustle and bustle of the “Fasnet period” (or generally speaking: Fasching, Carnival or a time in which to dress up and celebrate all sorts of traditions). Besides...

» read more

Species Rara | 18 Jan. 2016

The Bridal Crown

The Mexican Black Forest

The Bridal Crown
© Sebastian Wehrle

The bridal crown, also known as a Schäppel in the Black Forest, enjoys a long tradition, and compared with a bridal wreath or veil, is the oldest decorative form of headdress worn by gushing brides-to-be. A symbol of purity and family status, the bridal crown was hung over the wedding table...

» read more

» load more

Facebook


Twitter


YouTube


Instagram

Instagram