Still Life with Florian
Werner Berg was always fascinated by the products of folk art and trivial art. In their simplicity and directness, they represented a source of artistic inspiration for him that should not be overlooked. During his academy years, devotional figures of Jesus and of saints appeared in his still lifes. Paintings behind glass and other forms of folk painting were a crucial aspect of his turn toward consciously simple, almost primitive pictorial forms in his first year on the Rutarhof farm.
On an old traditionally painted rustic cupboard in his farmhouse’s parlor, a variety of such folk art objects are to be seen: paintings behind glass, wooden toys, a weathervane and flower vases are assembled next to a figure of St. Florian, a saint venerated throughout rural Austria. The typical green used to paint farmhouse parlors can be seen in the background, divided from the light blue ceiling by a simple ornamental band.