A remarkable and wonderful thing happened. Miroslav, a distant relative of N.N. Pirkhoff (see posting of june 2010) found my blog. Or my Blog found him. This story a proof of the strength of the Internet connecting people.
Viktor Wolfgang Pirkoff born in Prag undoubtedly will have started his artistic training at the Prag Academy of Fine Arts (esth. 1799) but entered, probably somewhere in the mid 1890’s, the Académie Julian in Paris. This private Art school (famous painters and artists, like William Adolph Bouguereau (1825-1905), were invited to teach) was established in 1868 in the Quartier Latin preparing students for the exams of the Ecôle des Beaux Arts, the prestigious French State Art School.
Many foreign students followed courses and very modern, also allowing female students. I found some very interesting students attending classes: Arthur Wesley Dow (1857- 1922) was among them and Charles William Bartlett (1860-1940), both famous and influential printers later. And painters like Pierre Bonnard, André Derain, Childe Hassam (American Impressionist), Eduard Vuilllard, John Singer Sargent and Alphons Mucha. All very International.
We find Viktor W. Pirkhoff in his mid thirties a professor in Zurich (probably at the Zurich Kunstakadémie) from 1908-1910 and returning to Paris until the beginning of WWI (1914) then moving to Vienna, Austria.
The artist rooms (oil).
Franz Léhar (l), Arch Duke Friedrich von Habsburg (r)
King Farouk of Egypt 1937
It is said that Pirkoff exhibited in many countries even in New York. This maybe explaining why the only 3 pictures I was able to find untill this day were related to auctions from America.
Next I shall tell you what happened to Viktor Pirkoff after 1945. His ordeal wasn't over yet. I am about to unveil a great collection of extraordinary fine woodblock prints never seen publicly for probably the last 70 years. Thanks to Miroslav who send me many pictures of this hidden treasure to share with you on my humble Blog. And whom I promised to do my best to give this artist the new attention he deserves.