Watercolor, 75 x 62 cm
Houses were one of Axel C. Gross' favorite subjects. In particular, he documented old, traditional buildings and campaigned for their protection. For him, they not only reflected the soul of a time, but also said a lot about their inhabitants and their lives. Here he portrayed the Gasthaus Peter Peiffer - an old inn in the Hunsrück-Eifel region with its typical shape and the dark, slate roof of the buildings in this area. A large barn gate integrated into the house bears witness to the inn's agricultural past - or even to its present, as it was often the case that farms also ran an inn for sideline purposes.
Axel C. Gross (*1947 in Neunkirchen/Saar, Germany, †2016 ibid.) spent the last 20 years of his life in a restored farmhouse in Meckenbach in the Hunsrück. After studying art and crafts education in Saarbrücken, he worked from 1967 as a teacher at the comprehensive school in Nohfelden-Türkismühle, only a few kilometres from the academy. Even outside of his profession he remained true to his vocation and led seminars, courses and teacher training courses. Numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad, including one at the Academy in 1973, round off the work of this committed artist. He found his motifs mainly in the SaarLorLux region, but also in France and other countries he travelled to. His paintings are understood as documents of a certain time, a region and a landscape, but also as a criticism of the fact that typical buildings are sacrificed to a certain spirit of the times.
He put his passion for buildings typical of the region into practice, not only in drawings, but also in practical terms. In the 1970s, together with Hans-Georg Raab, he played a leading role in the preservation of the Bosen mill in Nohfelden. Today the old mill is known nationwide as an art and cultural centre on Lake Bostal, also in the immediate vicinity of the academy. He found a further source of inspiration in Celticism and together with his wife, the ceramist Gisela Gross, was active in the "Hochwald Celts", an association for the promotion of archaeology in the area around the Celtic ring wall of Otzenhausen ("Hunnenring")."