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collections > permanent collection > paintings >HERMAN MARIL
Herman Maril
(American, 1908-1986)
Slag in Snow, 1949
Oil on canvas, 32" x 39"
Gift of Esta Maril; Courtesy of Harmon-Meek Gallery (96.138)


Herman Maril was one of many mid-twentieth century American artists who adapted elements of European modernism to forge his own individual style.  Borrowing from Paul Cezanne and the Cubists, he created compositions notable for their simplicity and decorative flatness.  Slag in Snow, however, eschews the sunny scenes of Cezanne and the tabletop still lifes of Cubism, and in keeping with American Scene painting of the 1930s and 1940s, it depicts an industrial landscape in winter.  This subject was the focus of a series of works by Maril, one of which was included in the Carnegie Institute’s important exhibition, “Painting in the United States, 1945.”


Maril was born in Baltimore and remained closely associated with Maryland throughout his life.  He studied at the Maryland Institute School of Fine and Practical Arts, and supplemented his learning with weekend trips to New York art galleries.  During the Depression years, he worked for the Treasury Department’s mural program, and with the outbreak of World War II, he served as a U.S. Army war artist.  Much of his later career was spent on the faculty of the University of Maryland, where he taught painting into the 1970s.