Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Mart de Niet: Dutch dunes and sea side inspiration for 2018

Before continuing discussing and sharing vintage woodblock prints and forgotten printmakers from the past with this first posting of 2018 I keep my promiss to  printmaker Mart de Niet (1952), a retired mathematics teacher and amateur painter to share some of his recent sea side and dunes prints which I happened to discover last year. 

Living walking distance from the beach and the dunes in the Hague (NL) Mart has never to travel far for inspiration. These prints show that after recently following a summer course in printmaking (in Groningen Academy) lead by professional contemporary Frisian etcher Reinder Homan (1950) and well known woodblock printmaker Siemen Dijkstra (1968) the first results can be quite good.

Experimenting with paint, different inks and colors and practicing cutting and printing skills these prints also show the joy of printmaking and an inspiration for 2018 to many readers of this humble Blog I sincerely hope.  


Friday, 29 December 2017

Corrie Koot: last find in 2017

This print is probably my last irresistible junk shop acquisition of 2017 found this last week of the year. The signature reads Corrie Koot, a not common not uncommon name. Not a "listed" artist either. It is dated 1978, and showing the Arnheim Rhine bridge a few years after its  completion in 1937. It is numbered 2/8 and large (sheet 50 x 75 cm.)

First result of my initial research into the printmaker: 
1) Corrie Koot (born around 1931) who was a professional Yogo teacher living in the Hague in the 1960-70's. 
2) Corrie Koot, a religious person or non. There is a relation to the Egmond monastery workshops: which was the base of Lioba Michel who produced prints on similar paper, in similar XXL size and in similar execution. Follow the link to an earlier post.  

Rhine bridge 1937 
And 3) Corrie Koot who was a pastor(resse) in Arnhem in the 1990's (which is the location of subject of the print).
It could well be Corrie Koot 1, 2 and 3 are one and the same person.   

Lioba Michel: Marseille harbour
What I'm quite certain about: it was made after this 1937 photograph showing the Rhine Bridge (today named John Frost Bridge, destroyed after disastrous allied forces Operation Market Garden by the Germans and rebuild soon after WW-II.

Rebuilding the Rhine Bridge at Arnheim


All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Dorry Kahn, Lago Maggiore and some related things....

Dora (Dorry) Kahn-Weyl
Dutch painter and mannequin

In a local sale I stumbled over this undated pastel signed Dorry Kahn. It could well be showing cloud shrouded Lago Maggiore in Italy. It certainly is not the Netherlands. 

In a 1970 news paper article the artist, Dorry Kahn, claimed she had been painting for 30 years but I found an earlier article (below, 1941) stating she had been successfully exhibiting in 1940 (maybe at Hirsch's). In 1970 she also explains being fascinated and occupied with monotype printmaking "with glas plate and Japanese papers". 

Sylvain Kahn
Dorry Kahn, the daughter of a Jewish diamond cutter, was the elegant wife of Henri René Kahn (1888-1970), the later heir of posh Hirsch & Cie, elite fashion house founded 1882 by his father Sylvain Kahn (1857-1927) (above). Sylvain Kahn's partner in Hirsch (and also his brother im law), Sally Berg (1857-1924) never married. 

The beautiful newly erected Hirsch building (1912) to this day is proudly situated at Amsterdam Leidseplein. In the decades before the two business partners bought all the surrounding old buildings around their growing and highly successful enterprise. The fashion house is no more, but the monumental building is. Although the building, the owners and the business survived WW-II many Jewish workers, and customer, did not. The firm never recovered to its former glory, the decline obvious in a dramatically changed world. The final end came in 1976.

 In 2012  the Apple store moved into the listed building. The times are a'changing. 

Dorry Kahn and her family survived Nazi persecution. In 1927 her elegant portrait was painted by famous modernist Jan Sluyters (1881-1957). He was very attracted by the world of beautiful women, clients and models, surrounded by the colorful elegance at Hirsch's. 

His clientèle for a portrait will have been the same as Hirsch's. In the 1990's  Dorry was mentioned in the memories of lesbian Frieda Belinfante (1904-1995) having an affair. (In Toni Bouman: "Een schitterend vergeten leven" a glorious forgotten life). 

Bellinfante, daughter of Jewish pianist Aron Belinfante (1870-1924) and active during WW-II in the Dutch resistance later became known as the worlds first female conductor of a professional symphony orchestra (she immigrated after WW-II to America): the Orange County Philharmonic Orchestra (Los Angeles USA).

Since 1900 Sluyters "old school" Amsterdam impressionist colleague Isaac Israels (1864-1934) painted also at Hirsch's: the studios, the models, the workers and the clients. In 1916 he painted the twins Ippy and Gertie Wehman (b. 1895) internationally well known and Hirsch fashion models.

In 1916 Israels painted the portrait of Greetje Zelle (1877-1917) better known as Mata Hari, femme fatale, mistress, Frysian lassie growing up in Leeuwarden. 

Her tumultuous life ended executed as a spy by a French firing squad a year later in 1917. It is said Mata Hari was offered a modeling job by Kahn. She shopped at Hirsch' as did our Queen Emma. 

In the immense building besides all the departments, the fashion workers also were situated the studios of Jacob Merckelbach (1877-1942) the best known Dutch society and royalty photographer. 

In 1941 Dorry was photographed (below) by Julius Guggenheimer (1885-1943) a Jewish refugee, fled 1938 from Memmingen in Bavaria to Amsterdam for a newspaper article. The article mentions a successful exhibition "a year ago" so probably before the summer of 1940 when the Nazis occupied the Netherlands. It was probably taken in their home in posh De Laraisse-straat.  
Guggenheim's two children survived the Holocaust by fleeing to London, Julius and his wife Nellie did not. 

Although they were granted visa for Honduras, they were arrested, deported and murdered in Sobibor 1943. Guggenheimer, his work and talent recently rediscovered, was awarded an exhibition in his native Memmingen last year (2016) see here *


All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 

Friday, 15 December 2017

Ilse Koch: Hamburg Feenteich in winter

Frosty weaping willows ("Trauerweiden") on the Alster in Hamburg.  

Ernst Eitner: Feenteich, Hamburg  

This lovely, large print above probably shows Hamburg Feenteich in winter. The painting is by Hamburg impressionist Ernst Eitner and titled Feenteich.  

With the two other prints in my collection it documents characteristic Hamburg around 1910. See my recent Hamburg postings.     

Hamburg 1911
* -----    Feenteichbrücke = entrance to the Feenteich
** -----    Uhlenhorster Fährhus (Margarete Braumüllers print).
***--------      Fernsicht-brücke (Else Zinkeisen's print) =  entrance to Rondeelteich  


The Monogram iK suggests strongly it was created by Hamburg printmaker Ilse Koch (1869 - prob. 1834) although the other 9 prints I know by her hand, all flowers and vases, have a monogram IKA (Ilse Koch-Amberg). Her short biography is one of the over 400 in the upcoming book: daughter of a painter, married to painter-printmaker Hugo Amberg and sister to poster artist Walther Koch.

Entrance of the Feenteich : Feenteich-brücke am Schöne Aussicht.
Hans Meid (1883-1957): Feenteichbrücke, Hamburg 

Hans Meid: Rondeelteich (very similar to Feenteich, a pond beyond the Fernsehbrücke) 

Old photo's prove Feenteich (Fairy pond), with its posh villa's of Hamburgs achieved & richest situated in the Bellevue district, before the total destruction by Operation Gomorra was lined with old willow trees. 

Ernst Eitner: Feenteich, Hamburg.   
Ernst Eitner (1867-1955) today lovingly nicknamed "Monet of the North" was a Hamburg impressionist painter who was awarded an exhibition recently (it just ended) in Hamburg receiving the attention he never had during his life. The many paintings of the Alster region are proof of his love for the area where he worked lived and loved. 

Sadly there wasn't a catalogue to accompany the exhibition. But Googling pictures will give you an idea the Monet comparison is not totally without reason. He was one of the local artists commissioned by Alfred Lichtwark (1842-1914) the visionary first director, with a budget, to create paintings of Hamburg "en plain air" to stock his Kunsthalle Museum.   

Eitner was also a teacher in Valeska Rövers painting school (at nearby Glockengießerswal) teaching many young (Jewish) women. 

Either with his women students in 1897 

Ilse Koch attended Hamburg "Kunstgewerbeschule" (Arts & Craft school) no doubt to be also trained as a teacher. She moved in the circles of Käthe Kollwitz and the great Lovis Corinth and is mentioned as a mainly a self-taught artist. Which is not difficult to understand looking more closely to her family and relatives. But fat chance she knew Ernst Eitner.......

Fritz Flinte (1876-1963) painted picturesque Feenteich too, and Paul Kayser (1869-1942), Eitners colleague in the painting school and known for his low esteem of women painters, painted the view from its classes overlooking Lombardsbrücke and Alster . 


All pictures borrowed freely from the internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Fritz von Zerboni di Sposetti: what's in a name ?

Friederich (Fritz) von Zerboni di Sposetti
(30-12- 1900 - 03-12-1958 Vienna)
Austrian (academical) painter and printmaker.   

Born, probably in Vienna, as the youngest son of 7 children of "Ministerialrath",  Maximilian von Zerboni di Sposetti (1856-1901) and Olga von Reimann (1863-1927), dr. of fieldmarshall Carl, Ritter von Reimann and Emilie, Freiin Kussevich von Samobor. 

Hannelore (faithful corresponding researcher from Austria) also was able to solve this signature problem. She was able to read it and even managed to find a "fitting" person in the Zerboni family genealogical data. 

The Sultan Ahmed-I mosque, depicted by Fritz Zerboni is also known as the Blue Mosque or Jewel of Istanbul and was built 1609-1619 during the reign of short lived Sultan Ahmed-I (1590-1617) who is buried inside. 

The Austrian painter and printmaker is not mentioned in any of the artists Lexicons. The today Austrian branch of this family descends from Maximilians great grandfather Bernardino von Zerboni di Sposetti who was born, and lived, in Breslau in 1686. 

All pictures borrowed freely from the internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.