The first steps, n.d.
Watercolor on paper, 140 x 175 mm.
Inventory number: 0128NMK
Acquired before 1904. Bestowed to the museum in 1908
Ernst Meyer's mawkish depiction of the everyday lives of the Italians he lived among often contain some narrative element that helps the viewer engage emotionally with the little scenes. This watercolour painting depicts an intimate everyday moment. An Italian woman supports her child with both hands as she takes her first steps. The mother looks lovingly at her child, who with raised arms attempts to maintain her balance. The choice of technique indicates that the painting is one of the artist’s later works, where his growing arthritic pains made him abandon oil painting and instead work with watercolours.
Ernst Meyer (1797-1861)