Friday, 5 September 2014

Bertha Schrader: mother of all women printmakers ?

Bertha Schrader
(Memel, Lithuania 1845 - 1920 Möckritz-Dresden) 

German painter and woodblock printmaker. 

In my ongoing research Bertha Schrader was possibly the oldest female artist-painter to try at woodblock printmaking. She will have been taught in Berlin by  Emil Orlik, but lived in Dresden at the time, where Martin Erich Philipp (1887-1978) was active with printmaking as early as 1908. She must have been in her early 60's, after having already a career as an accomplished and successful painter. I know of only two prints by her, monogrammed BS, and here's what I've been able to compose from the collected bits and pieces.

"Der Zwinger", the grand and impressive barok palace in Dresden, destroyed in WW2 but was restored to the museum complex it now houses. Build for the King of Poland, August the Strong (1670-1733) between 1710-1728.

Two other woodblock printmakers choose the Zwinger Palace as subject: Heine Rath (1873-1920 in the same year as Bertha Schrader) en Otto Westphal (1878-1975) also from Dresden. 

   Dutch Canal woodblock print and oil painting by Bertha Schrader, after her travels to neighboring Netherlands.  
Born in Memel (Lithuania) Bertha but spend her youth in St.Peterburg (Russia) and from 1854 was living in Dresden (1894, Sidoniënstraße 14). Landscape and interior painter and printmaker  working and living in Dresden. Student of Paul Greab (1842-1892) in Berlin and Paul Baum (1854-1932) in Dresden. Eventually she embraced an impressionist style of painting. Only two woodblock prints of her are known at this moment. She started her career in Berlin but moved to Dresden Mockritz on the Elbe river. Travels to the Northsea and Ostsee, the Netherlands, Switzerland. Denmark and the North of Italy. 
Exhibited in Berlin, Dresden, Hannover, Hamburg and Bremen. She was a member of the VdBK in Berlin 1882-1916 and exhibited there 1882, 1884, 1886, 1888, 1892, 1894, 1901. She was chairwoman of the Dresden Women Artists Association. 

And here are two of her finest paintings:
Bertha Schrader: "An der Elbe" an impressionist impression 

Claude Monet: "River Seine at Vetheuil" 

Emil Nolde: "Elbe Schlepper" 

Max Liebermann: "River Elbe"

Bertha Schrader: River Elbe near Möckritz-Dresden where she worked and lived. The Elbe flows all the way across Germany from Dresden to Hamburg on the North Sea.  

Rudolph Pöschmann (1878-1954), a local Dresden painter. 

In 1912 princess Mathilde of Saxony (1853-1933) opened a women artist exhibition in Dresden where a painting of Bertha Schrader was displayed. This was mentioned in the British 1912 Volume of the prestigious magazine "the Studio". See also "Mathilde Reuß, a royal printmaker ?" in this Blog by following the label below.  

All pictures borrowed freely from the internet for friendly, educational and non commercial use only.

All further information on Bertha Schrader would be very much welcomed. 

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