Thursday, 15 July 2010

Martha Wenzel

Martha Wenzel
(23-6-1859 Lippehne - 1943 Merxhausen)

German printmaker, graphic artist, (and painter).
"Spaziergang": a stroll.

Martha Wenzel studied in München (under Ernst Neumann, grafics- and posterartist) and Münich (under Ernst Staufer-Bern, portrait artist and also teacher of Käthe Kollwitz), where she worked and also later in Kassel. She was best known for her "Farbenholzschnitt" or color woodblock printing. She is mentioned in most German Artist indexes from 1900-1930.

Strangely I know only of one print by her hand. And I am not alone in my amazement as you can read:
Having two granddaughters about the same age it made a very appropriate gift on our recent weddingday.
This print was made as an attachment or folio ("Originalbeilage") for the subscribers of the "Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst" in 1905. For 50 years, until about 1915 Germans (and the worlds) leading monthly art magazine.
Artist were invited to create grafic prints on a thematical basis. These exclusively for the magazine made prints have always been highly valued by collectors. I learned from the very nice dealer who sold me my copy (at a very friendly price) of the two girls that no artist-signed copies of this print are in any international collection.
The ones that show up (same paper, same borders) are almost certainly falsly signed.
Artist like Emil Nolde, Käthe Kollwitz and Schmidt-Rotluff published prints for the magazine and today sometimes fetch very high prices, upto €1000.
A painting by Martha, a copy of "the Architect" by Rembrand which is owned by the Kassel Museum (Ger.) were she lived changed hands for €400 at an auction in 2009. Surely something to show of with, I wonder who bought it.


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