4+1 = Africa Big 5

"Oswald von Wolkenstein and Castle Hauenstein"
By Michael Boss
Alkyd on Panel
30" X 22"
From the Collection of Carol Hobbs, WaKeeney , Kansas

The painting of Castle Hauenstein was a bit of a challenge to say the least.
It could have been a restoration with the castle as the dominant subject, a ruin, or a reconstruction in the time of a very notable owner and tenant, Oswald von Wolkenstein. Wolkenstein, c.1377-1455, was a poet, composer, Minnesinger and political activist. Having a bit of a musical penchant, I chose to paint the small fortress in his time.

Pouring over any number of ruin images, it seemed as though the castle, originally consructed c.1186, had two towers. One on the east and another on the west corners of the south wall. Castles in the mountainous areas of Europe have snow roofs and Hauenstein was probably not an exception. Additions were made to the castle in the 15th and 16th Centuries. That knowledge led to value judgements concerning the Wolkenstein period look: the early 1400s.

Some castles in the Sudtirol area of present day Italy are not large, including Hauenstein. The citadel was constructed on a large chunk of rock which, eons ago, detached and slid downslope from Santner Peak . Santner Peak rises high above the present day village of Suisi .
I thought it appropriate to paint von Wolkenstein leaving his castle on horseback. His writings stated he was not overly happy there and his times away, occasionally better. And then there were Oswald's stints in jail!