Sunday, 28 August 2011

Thea Gütmann-Voigt: Laburnum

Thea Gütmann
Personally finding this “Goldregen” print by illusive artist Thea Gütmann-Voigt hidden in an antiques shop in the medieval town of Lemgo near Detmold (province of Lippe, Germany) made my (holi)day. It is the homeland of Ernst Rötteken (1881-1945) one of my favorite printmakers of whom I will show a very rare collection of never before seen prints soon. This is just the second print known to me by Thea Gütmann. And believe me, I looked everywere.  In my early Blogging days I showed this (below) auction catalogue picture “Flieder” or Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) by her.

artist impression
Thea Gütmann-Voigt

What Wisteria was to the Japanese printmakers Laburnum must be for the European. European printmakers tend to choose a more botanical approach when depicting blossoming Laburnum. 

Japanese artists (almost all but this print by Kamisaka Sekka (1866 - 1942) show blossoming Wisteria along with birds, buildings and city views. 

Creating a posting on Wisteria and the Japanese woodblock print might prove to be an impossible endeavour because of the countless prints dedicated to this beautiful flowering ornamental shrub.

So let me start showing the examples by European printmakers trying their best at the  European but yellow counterpart: Laburnum, Golden chain (or rain) (Engl.), Goldregen (Germ.), Gouden regen (Dutch),  L’aubour (French). Laburnum the name of the form of woodrot that easily occurs when pruning or cutting this native to Soutern Europe shrub.
H.J. van der Werf
(Dutch  ca. 1930)

Arie Zonneveld
(Dutch 1905-1941)
E. Meinshausen
-Felsing (German)
Ernst Rötteken (German 1882-1945)
Carl Thiemann
(German 1891-1966)
Comparing this last and rare Carl Theodoor Thiemann (1881-1966) composition with Mrs. Gütmann's "Goldregen" one or the other must have had knowledge of the other's work. Thieman made some great flowers prints, in very different styles, but his "Goldregen" came to my knowledge only recently. Mostly and best known for his city views, Venician sailing ships, trees, swans and landscape prints you can look forward to a collection of his lesser known flower prints soon.  

I would very much like to know more of both illusive Thea Gütmann-Voigt as well as Mrs. E. Meinshausen-Felsing, "tätig" (working) in  Kaiserslautern" is all I was able to find besides the bare pictures in the posting following the link. But I'll keep trying.

Closing this thematic posting here’s the nicest of illustrations (although rather   sweet) by British childrens book illustrator Cicely Mary Barker (1895-1973)  


  1. It must be very nice to be able to still walk in a shop and find a colour woodcut. That hasn't happened to me for quite a few years - well, not one I could afford.

    It would interesting to find out who started the laburnum idea off. Like yours and Thiemann's best. Any dates?


  2. It doesn't happen to me every week, it would also spoil the rush I think. I have no dates for the prints but will try and sort it out.