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The Interrupted Pilgrimage (“The Sick Pilgrim”), 1858

Leopold Museum,
Oil on wood
70.9×87.3 cm


  • Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller

    (Vienna 1793–1865 Hinterbrühl near Mödling)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
In his 1858 painting The Interrupted Pilgrimage (The Sick Pilgrim), Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793–1865) depicted a dramatic scene: It shows humble people in rural attire, among them a young boy carrying a crucifix adorned with a floral wreath, who have embarked on a pilgrimage. They have stopped for a devotional rest amidst a rocky landscape, with the group of praying pilgrims visible in the background on the right. The foreground, however, shows an unconscious young woman in the glaring sunlight, attended to by the women with great solicitude. In this convincing figural composition in the form of an ascending triangle, Waldmüller followed in the long-standing tradition of Christian crucifixion depictions showing the crucified Christ on the top, and only his favorite apostles and the women at his feet, with Mary, the mother of Christ, having sunk to the ground in the center. Hinting at grand themes within ostensibly insignificant situations is a characteristic hallmark of Viennese Biedermeier painting.

Object data

  • Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller
The Interrupted Pilgrimage (“The Sick Pilgrim”)
Art movement
Oil on wood
70.9×87.3 cm
Signed and dated center right: 1858
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 481
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Rupert Feuchtmüller: Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller 1793-1865. Leben – Schriften – Werke, Wien 1996.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Feuchtmüller 1996: 993

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Heinrich Drasche Ritter von Wartinberg , Inzersdorf bei Wien (vor 1868-1880); (1)
Dr. Richard Alois Freiherr Drasche von Wartinberg , Inzersdorf bei Wien (1880-1923);
Rudolf Richard Freiherr Drasche von Wartinberg , Ebreichsdorf bei Wien (ab 1923); (2)
Baron Richard Drasche-Wartinberg , Ebreichsdorf bei Wien (bis 1981);
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1981-1994); (2)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 1994).

  1. Österreichischer Kunstverein, Schützenausstellung, Wien 1868, Nr. 57: „Die unterbrochene Wallfahrt“
  2. Wiener Salonblatt vom 21.07.1923, S. 11, Todesanzeige für Richard Drasche Freiherrn von Wartinberg; Wiener Secession, Katalog zu „Bildende Kunst der Francisco-Josephinischen Epoche“ (137. Austellung), Wien 1935, S. 28, Nr. 153 (Abb.): „Die Prozession“; Bruno Grimschitz, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller. Leben und Werk, Wien 1943, S. 110, Nr. 73 (Abb. S. 73).
  3. Archiv des Leopold Museums, Kaufvertrag vom 11.06. und 17.06.1981

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