I don’t think many people ever heard of
this artist except maybe the bookplate collector.A handful of bookplates can be found Googling, exquisite miniatures, and there has been a folio (or book) in existence showing this work in the first
decade of the 20th century.
This lovely print of a duck very reminding of the William Nicholson (1872-1949) duck from his Square Book of Animals (1899) but also of Hilde Exner's (1880-1922) pigeons, of the Ver Sacrum (or Vienna Secession) period: 1903.
Otto Robert's aristocratic portrait I've found in the
Estonian archives of the “Korporatsioon Livonia” the student club of the Tartu (Dorpat) University where he was a
member 1890-1891. This university was established 1632, when the Swedes ruled,
and was preceded by an even older Gymnasium.
Under Russian Rule since 1710, the (a) Moritz
von Gruenewaldt family even made it to governor halfway the 19th century but I have no idea if this has any relation with Otto Roberts branch of the family. 10 years before an Otto Ernst Moritz von G. (b.1860) was also
a student member but he was inscribed a law student a decade before in 1880, he was born in St.
Petersburg, Russia. It was in this membership archive he was named Otto Robert. All
later reference only speaking of Moritz von Gruenewaldt. The signature is always "M.v.Grunewaldt". Confusing.
Not long ago I saw a woodblock print that made me strongly think of Martin Erich Philipp, the pictures not good enough to
identify the signature then. It was just the sort of “déja vu” discovering
the prints of Walter Helfenbein (1893-1984). I introduced this Dresden artist
recently here*.I have a strong feeling
both men were in Dresden Zoo with Philipp. It was the "Crowned Crane" print below.
And then recently I saw another one but now recognizing the style and the signature. Both prints, the "Crowned Crane" and the "Lady Amhurst Pheasant" probably have belonged together (the one below had a
Berlin dealer label) because, with some time in between they were offered by the same seller.
from a collectors point of view they, “of course”, should have stayedtogether or at least be re-united some day. But
I can only conclude they aren’t anymore. Maybe one day they will, who knows. Whoever has the Crane, maybe stumbling over this posting, he or she may contact me any time.
Written in pencil on the back of the small
sheet (it measures only 12 x 18 cm.) a to menot readable text (in Fraktur Schrift: "zum kleinen lieben …..probably ending with: ….. von ….Grünewaldt.") and the date: October 1925. Maybe there's a clue. Maybe a certain German collector who helped out before can.
Martin Erich Philipp's prints of Dresden Zoo Pheasants and Cranes from a around decade before.
This posting summing up what I’ve
discovered so far on this forgotten, obscured but talentedartist. Any additions, corrections or comments are as always very welcome.
All pictures borrowed freely from the
Internet for friendly, educational and non-commercial use only.
No no, be assured. I'm not sharing a post on what is considered the most celebrated woodblock printmaker of them all. His "Wave" and many "Views on Mount Fuji", are world famous, iconic and known to all of course, treated and discussed by ukiyo-e experts for a 100 years.
But Hukusai was a painter too, and a drawer and a sketcher. Books with his (and/or his school's) prolific work have survived time, so I've read. But searching for them on the internet delivering not many. Not nearly as many as his prints. Most of the paintings and drawings (I've found) are now treasured in museum collections.
The reason for the interest and search was, always on the prowl, recently finding the watercolor drawing/painting with pencil notation: "by Hokusai (1760-1849)". I have no idea what the hatted man is doing with the barrel (or large pot). It is not signed and it bares no seal. So I have few illusions and many reservations. It came in a very refined and posh frame. Comparing it with the examples I've found: could it be ? The Wagtail print, which is signed and sealed, has very similar "snow" created by what looks like a tiny splash of water (or acid ?)
Maybe an expert reader in time, stumbling over this posting, will tell me. Until then I'ld just like to believe ….. And besides, by Hokusai himself or not: I like it anyway.
All opinions, information and comments welcomed !
All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.
Stumbling over this Scandinavian etching of a blossoming tree and a visiting bee set a string of pictures and memories in motion that tells the story in what wondrous way the brain, my brain, is sometimes functioning.
Because I'd never heard of this artist before I did my best to find out more about him but nothing much came up in the www. "Pupil of (Anders) Zorn"the etcher-painter, it said somewhere. But Emil Gustaf must have been locally known according to this big pile of prints I found offered in a Scandinavian auction site although he seems now largely forgotten. Many of the prints showing Malmö buildings and sites I discovered.
Only once his name popped up: in the entry to his son's biography: Gunnar Millet Westman (1915-1985) also an artist and remembered best for his sculptural work. And finding a picture of this granit statue called "Bro Bro Brille" immediately rang a bell. I've walked passed it many many times the last 10 years working in Groningen in the University Medical Centre. It's a very intimate statue of a family and the children encircling the parents in a game. You won't ever forget it, stroking the cold but smooth granite, and with a smile on your face, walking past, either to work or homeward. And I must have seen it in childhood.
It is hewn from a huge used granite press and it was placed in 1958, bought and donated to the city of Groningen (Netherlands) after a Danish sculpture exhibition in 1955 in the Municipal Park, to celebrate the opening of the big V&D warehouse.
A decade after the destruction and rebuilding of what had been one of the best preserved and finest medieval market squares in Europe. 1955 was the year I (in my second year) returned with my parents from the tropics to the city of my forebears and living only a street length away to leave again a few years later the great and bustling and dynamic city of Groningen, capital of the North.
With Zorn and the foraging bee in my head the "connections" were made. Martin Erich Philipp: besides printmaking and painting and much like Zorn, was an etcher too. This sensitive "Rückenakt" (is it his wife Else Staps or a model standing at the window ?) imho his finest. It is probably far more affordable then a Zorn etching who I cannot help thinking, often has the air of a voyeur, camera in hand. Besides being a great painter and etcher of course. And now at the end of the stream it becomes obvious why the mind took such a detour after looking at a bee and blossoming tree. I don't know when Westman etched his but MEPH created his woodblock print in 1933. Both are lovely.
All pictures in this posting are borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.
As a result of my on going interest in
prints and printmakers this French artist emerged from the past and I hope sharing
my personal research laced with a choice ofGuérards work will be of interest
to readers of this Blog.
Le Palais de Justice, vu du Pont Notre-Dame (1889) edition of 6 prints by August Leperè dedicated to his friend Guérard.
Henri Guerard was born three years before August Lepère (1849-1918), considered the godfather of French and possibly European
Modern Printmakers. They were of course acquainted Lepère encouraging Guérard to create prints the new way. (Read here*)
And Guérard became befriended with Éduard
Manet (1832-1883) who’s pupil (Manet’s only one), impressionist model and
painter Eva Gonzalès (1849-1883) he would marry in 1879. The couple moved to Honfleur in Brittany meeting many of the impressionist painters and etchers.
I always assumed (dangerous !) the Paris
World Exhibition of 1889 was the start of rising interest and influence in and
popularity of Japanese printmaking in Europe.
In 1890 the Ecole des Beaux Arts held an
exhibition leaving Felix Valloton (1865-1925) involved in Japonism. His cygnes
(swans) a very popular item in the 1890’s and 1910’s dating from 1892 and in next
posting I intend hurdling them all together. Guérards swans, below, dated a few years
But well before 1890 I learned Leon Gonse
(1846-1921), art historian and director of la Gazette des Beaux Arts, organized
exhibitions on Japan art and in 1883 published his most important and
influential 2 volume book “ L’Art Japonais” (edition of 1400) and illustrated
by his friend Guérard.
Manet considered Guérard the best French aquatint etcher
of his time.With Felix Bracquemond (1833-1914) Guérard founded the Societé des Peintres Graveurs in 1890.
Portraits of Éduard Manet, Whistler and Whistler's mother (after the painting)
Guérard died young dating all his known work
before 1897, about the year the first British, Austrian and German examples were
conceived by printmakers like Frank Morley Fletcher (who had studied in Paris), Otto Eckmann, Emil Orlik
and of course many others.
It is from 1905 onwards a steadily growing stream of
prints by a growing number of artists influenced by and/or printing in "the Japanese way' can be traced but in that
last decade of the 19th century there obviously was much more going on in this field then I’d imagined before.
Tiger head and print of a monkey's hand
Eva Gonzalès died from an embolism giving
birth to their sun Jean, six days after her teacher and friend Manet passed
away. This lovely painting “le Chignon”
(the Bun) is by her. Guérard married her sister Jeanne a few years later. Left little Jean Guérard's portrait by his father.
Guérard with Jean Francois Raffaelli (1850-1924) are considered the pioneers of
Etching by Guérard of Hokusai's chess players
With Lepère, Guérard preceded and stood at
the very beginning of the first “generation” of French Modern Printmakers: Felix
Valloton, Henri Rivière (1864-1951), Jacques Beltrand (1874-1977), Amadee Joyau
(1873-1913), Jules Chadel (1870-1942), Henri Amedee-Wetter (1869-1929 and
Prosper Alphonse Isaac (1858-1924)
Guérard at work.
Read here* and here* in "Adventures in the print trade" on Lepère, Raffaelli and Guérard.
All pictures borrowed freely from the Internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.