Monday, 4 July 2016

Elise Daimler, Stuttgart painter and printmaker.

Elise Daimler
(Stuttgart June 13th 1875-1956 Stuttgart)
German painter and printmaker. 

Dresslers Kunsthandbuch 1930: M.: Ge. (“MalerinGewerblerin”, painter and arts and crafts artist), Reinsburgerstrasse 10. 
Note: Gottlieb Daimler (Däumler) (1834-1900) automobile pioneer and founding father of the Daimler-Benz (Mercedes) Motor Company originated from the nearby village of Schorndorf. There may be a (although not direct) family relation, Gottlieb had three brothers: Johannes (1832), Karl-Wilhelm (1840), and Christian-Albert (1845). 
She was a contemporary to Stuttgart  painter Helene Wagner (1878-1956).

I was pleasantly surprised recently finding a woodblock print "Föhren" (Sea pines) in a local car boot created by a German woman printmaker who was completely new to me. So here's what I was able to find out researching a bit. 

She studied in Stuttgart “Kunstakademie” with Christian Landenberger (1682-1927) and also in Munich (probably also with Landenberger who taught in both academies) and Paris. So far this is all I was able to find out besides a handful of pictures of paintings from auction sites. (South German) Landscapes, a still-life, a nude etc. 

The most interesting painting, to me, by Elise Daimler is this 1912 painting showing the Dutch village of “Bergen aan Zee”. 

Following the year (1912) on the painting I'm convinced she was in the company of her teacher Landenberger (and/or his class) visiting the Dutch coast. It is recorded Landenberger travelled to the Dutch coast that same year. Their company, traveling from Amsterdam no doubt, will have embarked at this platform in Bergen.  

And probably stayed in Hotel "Prins Maurits", the first Hotel to be build in Bergen.

Although much has changed there will be little difference in the enjoyment of Bergen beach life in summer, today or a century ago. This painting by contemporary artist Hans Versfelt (b.1968) shows the path from the Dunes. Nothing much has changed there over a 100 years.  

Elise's teacher Landenberger is an interesting figure (see his short biography below), an impressionist painter, professor in Stuttgart Academy and an advocate of "plein-air" painting ("Freilicht-malerei", outdoor painting). He'd become quite known in his time, awarded and famous for his many paintings of bathing nude boys. 

The "Badende Knaben" theme probably "invented" by Max Liebermann (1847-1934) a decade or two before. Liebermann was a frequent visitor of the Dutch North Sea coast and came often from Berlin to paint. Like his colleague Lovis Corinth (1858-1925) and many others 

And from the "Sammlung Elise Daimler" (probably from her personal estate) comes this "Pierette" by Stuttgart fellow artist Clara Rettich (1860-1927). The intriguing look in the eyes of the beautiful sitter (is it a portrait of Elise ?) is astonishing. And what its the meaning of the clowns costume ? Leaving the painting untitled, undated and unsigned is puzzling and maybe suggesting a very close personal link. To my knowledge both women never married. 

Clara Rettich proved also to be an interesting yet obscured artist. Born in New-York she studied and lived in Stuttgart (I have no idea why she chose Stuttgart and not Munich, Paris or Berlin). She was asked by antroposophist Rudolf Steiner to paint some of his esoterical designs  (the s.c. "apocalyptic seals") in oil.  And she is known to have worked in needle-work also. 

If you happen to stumble over this posting: please send me further biographical, artistical and genealogical (Stuttgart/Schorndorf Daimler family)  


Christian Adam Landenberger 

(Ebingen 07-04-1862 – 13-02-1927 Stuttgart)


Impressionist painter and professor, who was appointed in 1905 in Stuttgart “Kunstakademie” after  a  gold award winning "Badende Buben" (nude bathing boys). Studied from 1879 at Stuttgart “Kunstschule” with Jacob Grünenwald (1821-1896) and Carl von Häberlin (1832-1911) and in Munich “Kunstakademie” 1883-1887 with Frans (von) Defregger (1835-1921). Founding member of the Munich Secession exhibiting regularly from 1916. In 1895 he established a private painting school and teaches 1899-1905 at Munich of the “Münchner Künstlerinnenvereins Damen-akademie”. He is an advocate of outdoor painting (“Freilichtmalerei”). Travels to the Donau, Black Forest, Bodensee (Sw.), Norway, the isle of Sylt and the Dutch coast (see his student Elise Daimler). He is known of his series of bathing boys (“badende Knaben”) created between 1893-1915. Helene Wagner (1878-1956) a Stuttgart painter had also  been his student in Munich. 

Rettich, Clara (Klara) (New-York 19-10-1860 – 19-05-1916 Stuttgart)

Portrait, animal and flower painter but also worked in other media. Student of impressionist painter, illustrator, lithographer and Stuttgart “Kunstakademie” director (1902-1912) Robert von Haug (Stuttgart 1857-1922). She was involved in executing in oil the designs created by antroposophist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), the so-called Apocalyptic Seals in 1907.  
Dresslers KHB 1921: Stuttgart Ostheim, Atelier: Rotenburgerstrase 2.

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

Monday, 20 June 2016

Siegfried Berndt: pioneer printmaker from Dresden (I)

Several years ago (2011 !) Charles wrote his posting and spoke in admiration of Siegfried Berndt (read here). Berndt's influence on Modern Printmaking is probably much greater then until now is realized. In 2013 a booklet, referred to in the comments of Charles posting, was published. 

Winning a first price at the end of his studies enabled Siegfried Berndt (1880-1946) to travel to Brussels (where he'd lived the first 4 years of his life because his father had moved there), to Paris (engaging his wife), England and Scotland in 1907-08. Although the price was awarded to an oil painting created in 1906 ("Heu-ernte") in the final stages of his studies he was already heavily involved (and experienced !) in creating prints "the Japanese way". 

Here're the two earliest examples I could find (also 1906 !) showing the steps of Pillnitz Castle near his native Dresden on river Elbe, and Windstille" a truly remarkable early print. It shows he already was heavily inspired, influenced and experienced with printmaking "the Japanese way". In those years (from 1905) Emil Orlik just had started teaching in Berlin. I often wonder about the possible connections. It is even said Berndt taught and trained his teachers and professors in Dresden in woodblock printmaking (!) And because of that his printmaking influence must be in every Dresden later trained printmaker including the later expressionist "Brücke" artists, Martin Erich Philipp and many others.   

This is a fine opportunity showing you some remarkable things that I've discovered recently comparing pictures of prints by Berndt from my pictures archive (I actually own just one print by Berndt, the iconic sailing boat print (later) as my interest and true field of investigation and collecting is pioneering German women printmakers born before 1900 (they were all followers, not teachers, but it is the influence of their possible teachers that is so interesting)

I noticed Berndt played with composition comparing this color print of Notre Dame and a similar, also 1912, monochrome print obviously inspired by his Paris visit. (Meeting Henri Riviere , August Lepere and the Beltrand brothers ?) The question is wether he elongated or shortened the composition: I suggest the first. 

(Note he actually separated the lower part from the upper, moving Notre Dame to the right by adding a bridge arch to the left but stretching the ships to the right !) probably to position the hauling sailor underneath the large vertical spire dividing the composition more harmoniously.

He did the same with the sailing boat print, changing the composition from square to vertical. In this case by adding an inch or so to the bottom with an extra block. 

And then it struck me I could hardly find two identical prints of the same print/composition (there are, probably when he was content printing an edition) showing he experimented happily with his blocks. 

And then, by sheer co-incidence, I stumbled over this Japanese woodblock by (I think by Hasagawe Satanobu II 1848-1940 or his father HS I (1809-1875). Could this be the print for  Berndt's inspiration ? 

Some serious research has been done into the Japanese prints that inspired Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) and comparing is besides great fun revealing much about the artists history and history of Art.

In Scotland-Edinburgh I suspect Berndt will have met Frank Morley Fletcher (1866-1949) who was head of the Edinburg college of art from 1907 and before he had been experimenting, like Berndt, making prints in the Japanese way in London. Around the time Orlik came back from his Japan experience in 1901 and moving from Munich to Berlin. 

Experimenting Berndt did with almost all his prints. These are just examples that I managed to find and safe, there must be many others available. Here's a 1911 print showing a Polish village and landscape in different colors which made me think of Fletchers print made in 1916.  

Please consider these are just personal observations and in no way to be valued having  any art historical relevance. And beware: there's even more to come ...........

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

Monday, 13 June 2016

Lotte Gleichmann, Hannover artist and Orlik student ?

Recently I stumbled over this fumbled black and gray woodblock sheet. Just  two blocks were used to create this print with great perspective and composition ! Faithful reader Wolfgang helped me to read the signature: "Gleichmann" leading to this new to me artist and a new entry in my ongoing project: the German Women early printmakers index. 

Studying in Berlin 1908-1912 and working in nearby Potsdam until 1918 she could very well have had acces to Emil Orliks printmaking classes. Just this morning in German Ebay this Orlik black and gray print appeared: "Eislaufplatz".  

I would very much like to know which harbor or quay the artist is showing: Potsdam, Berlin, Hannover ? There's a very interesting contraption shown over the barrels being unloaded. A sheltered hoisting device ? All help is welcomed. 

Here's my freshly composed biography:  

Gleichmann-Giese, Lotte 
(Aurich, Ostfriesland 20-03-1890 – 06-04-1975 Hannover)
German painter, graphic artist and printmaker. 

Started painting as a child, studied 1908-1912 at Breslau “Kunstakademie” followed by studying philosophy, literature and history of Art in Berlin. In 1915 she married painter Otto Gleichmann (1887-1963) whom she’d probably met while studying in Breslau working until 1918 as a teacher in Potsdam and Hannover. Joined with her husband the Hannover Secession in 1918. In the mid 1920’s she co-founded the painter group GEDOK in Hannover serving as board and chairwomen. She stopped working as an artist during the Nazi regime while her husbands works was declared entarted (degenerate). Most of her work was destroyed in the allied bombing of Hannover. Exhibited in Düren (1915) and Bielefeld (1917) and in the 1920’s in Oslo and Switzerland. In 2016 a print of an unloading barrels sailing vessel showed up in German Ebay, signed “Gleichmann”, most probably by her hand.

Dresslers Kunsthandbuch 1921: Hannover, Ubbenstraße 4.
Dresslers Kunsthandbuch 1930: Hannover, Freytagstraße 19. 

GEDOK:  Gemeinschaft Deutscher und Oesterreichischer Künstlerinnenvereine aller Kunstgattungen“, founded 1926 in Hamburg by Jewish Ida Dehmel (1870-1942)   

Gleichmann, Otto Bernard Max 
(Mainz, 20-08-1887 – 02-11-1963 Hannover).

shop_Gleichmann_und_seine_ZeitKey figure in German expressionism. Studied in the Academies of Düsseldorf, Breslau and Weimar. Served actively and was wounded in WW1. He produced oil paintings, watercolor paintings, sketches, lithographs and pictures in mixed media and worked as an art educator in the “Realgymnasium” in Hannover. His works from the 1920s and 1930s were characterised by his bad experiences as a soldier (1915) and his injuries (1916) during the First World War - and his belief that the growth of National Socialism was a bad thing. His early work (lithographic port folios) was published in 1918 by Paul Cassirer in Berlin. He took part in the Hannoversche Sezession from 1918, where he met Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948), among others, and became friends with poet and cultural critic Theodor Däubler (1876-1934). His exhibition was banned, and his art was declared “entarted” (degenerate) in 1938.

Otto Gleichmann

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Siegward Sprotte meets Fritz Zalisz on the isle of Sylt.

Siegward Sprotte must have been one of Emil Orliks (1870-1932) last students in Berlin. Spanning a period of 25 years of teaching in Berlin among his first students had been many older women artists trained and educated in the classic tradition followed by a next generation of Art-Nouveau and Jugenstil artists. His last students will have been heavily influenced by expressionism.    

I am acquainted with Sprotte because of one (1956) woodcut showing the iconic "Rotes Klif" (red cliff) on the German North-Sea island of Sylt. It lead me to his colorful watercolor drawings ("scribbles") of beach, dunes and North Sea.

Sprotte must have been familiar with the artistic world of Fritz Zalisz who visited Sylt in the 1920's although I could not discover how they were acquainted. Maybe a passing reader will tell me in due time. Both artists have tried at woodblock printmaking but only a few examples are known to me. Both artist need only a minimum of lines to share with us what they saw and what they felt. I include their biographies, composed from several sources, below.

All pictures embiggen by left mouse-click. 

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


Sprotte, Siegward 
(Postdam 20-04-1913 – 07-09-2004 Kampen/Sylt)

Painter, art philosopher and printmaker. Started his artistic studies with Adolf Dahle (1890-1954) and studied from 1931-1937 in Berlin at the “Vereinigten Staatsschulen für freie und angewandte Kunst” with Emil Orlik (1870-1932), Kurt Wehlte (1887-1973) and Maximillian Klewer (1891-1963) He claimed to have been a masters student of Karl Hagemeister (1848-1933) from 1930 until his death in 1933. Although there is no written evidence his influence seems evident. 
His work was admired and much praised during the National Socialist period, exhibiting in the 1939, 1941, 1942 and 1944 “Großen Deutschen Kunstausstellung” with 10 works.
He developed a life long friendship with Karl Foester (1874-1970) a gardener, perennial breeder and garden philosopher who lived in Potsdam-Bornim since 1911. Sprotte lived from 1945 in Potsdam-Bornim and during summer in the village of Kampen on the North-Sea island of Sylt. Here in his studio and exhibition rooms many paintings of the island were created. He developed in the 1950’s a “simplified” expressionist style with sparse use of line using watercolour much like Fritz Salisz (1893-1971) who stayed in Sylt in 1922/23. He was acquainted with and influenced by artists Erich Heckel (1883-1970) Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884-1976), Hans Purrmann (1880-1966) and Emil Nolde (1867-1956).  

Zalisz, Fritz 
(Gera 17-10-1893 – 13-12-1970 Leipzig)

Painter, sculptor, poet, graphic artist and printmakler. Son of a Goldsmith and juweler. Studied first zoology with zoologist, philosopher and Charles Darwin follower Ernst Heackel (1834-1919) in Jena co-operating with him and who introduced him to study with Gabriel von Max (1840-1915) and sculptor Adolf von Hillebrandt (1847-1921) in Munich. In Munich he met Vladimir Lenin (1870-1924) who’s portrait he drew. In WWI he participated as a war-artist (in the 58th devision) continuing his studies at Leipzig ”Akademie für Grafik und Buchgewerbe” with Otto Richard Bossert (1874-1919), Alois Kolb (1875-1942) and Adolf Lehnert (1862-1948). Studied also in Berlin, worked in Leipzig and travelled to Holland, Belgium, France and Switzerland.
He mainly worked as graphic artist, creating a series of 24 lithographies for “Faust”, 12 for “Iphegenie” and 12 for “Christus”. He made monumental ornamentions for buildings in Leipzig and Altenhain that mostly were destroyed in WWII.
In 1927/28 he was offered a professorship in the University of Madrid which he declined. In the early 1920’s he stayed regularly on the North-Sea island of Sylt were he created many drawings in watercolour and chalk, etchings and sketches. In 1940 he moved to Leipzig-Holzhausen and after WWII he created mainly small and animal sculptures.
Three of his works were exhibited in the (1996) Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) exhibition in Dresden. Exhibited 1923 in the Chemnitz “Kunsthutte” and “Kunsthalle Dessau” and in 1928 in Madrid.