Saturday, 16 April 2011

Margarete Gerhardt

L.E. Margarete Gerhardt

(Frankfurt a/d Oder 1878- Berlin 1958)

German landscape painter etcher and blockprint artist.

(This posting has been updated on july 4th 2011)

Most print print lovers and collectors will recognize this fine print of sailing boats in the Baltic. The makers signature however, L.E. Marg. Gerhardt, orig. Schnitt Handdruck, not all that easy to read, even from the original. My attempts to identify the artist by way of the Internet failed. Sofar.

Above typicle Baltic or Ostsee sailing vessels. Daniël Staschuss (1872-1953) also depicted these ships on woodblock prints from the town of Nida (Nidden) when he and his artist wife lived there in the artist colony.

Searching on the Internet I stumbled upon a second print, of a farm house with the same signature. 

Margarethe was born 1873 in Frankfurt a.d. Oder  Lina Elisabeth Margarete Gearhardt dr. of Carl August Friedrich G. and Rosa Dorothea Bach. She was trained a teacher at the Königliche Luisenschule, a private and elite school in Berlin, which had a very good reputation for teaching art and music.

She studied landscape painting with landscape painter Wilhelm Feldmann (1859-1932), and later also in etching with graphic artist and master etcher Hermann Struck (1876-1944) who taught also German impressionist painter Max Liebermann (1847-1935) and Marc Chagall (1887-1985). Both artists rising to global fame.

(Brooklyn Bridge N.Y. 1922, by teacher Hermann Struck)

Writing this posting and again searching old auction catalogues I found a third block print. Sold in 2010. Of the old bridge in Limburg-an-der-Lahn (above). The scene today is somewhat different. The building on the left is gone but was still there in 1911 (see the old postcard) and survived WW-I. It whitnesses how acurate Margarethe was with the carving knife. The medieval house was probably destroyed in WW-II as was the bridge (build 1315!) which has been rebuild. Hopefully more examples of Margarethes block prints will show up in future.


  1. Brilliant research, Gerrie.

  2. Well, curiousity pays and with a little help from my friends.... It's fun to (re)discover these ~forgotten but talented people. The reward is in the comments. Thanks!

  3. she's so adorable, and i really like her style, particularly in the color woodcuts. they are somehow made strong by their vulnerability.

  4. I very much hope more examples will show up.