Landscape painting had taken on increasing significance by the end of the 19th century. To experience landscapes and nature directly, artists left the cities and painted their works under an open sky. They made use of supposedly unspectacular landscapes and ostensibly found motifs along the roadside as an opportunity to celebrate the gentle fall of sunlight and color in all its nuances.
In the Berlin Secession, Walter Leistikow and Karl Hagemeister most consistently followed this change of perspective. Their masterly skill was demonstrated in idyllic studies depicting a play of waves, flying cloud shadows, fiery coniferous forests and windswept grasses. In their images Leistikow and Hagemeister developed painting styles that were radically modern at the time, foreshadowing far into the future of the 20th century.