Wednesday, 1 October 2014

On the multiplication of flowers.

Unkown German printmaker c.1910 the signature and marges cut of by framemaker. 
The composition, arrangement and being able to multiply flower-bouquets in vases by German women printmakers who were pioneering with color woodblock and linoleum in the beginning of the 20th century coincided with similar possibilities arising for photographers. A dream came true. 

In that first decade the reproduction proces of color photography was patented (1903) marketed (1907) and perfected (1910-20) by the Lumière brothers in the "autochrome" proces. It was to stay the standard of color photography until the mid -30's

In before posting I've met Heinrich Kuhn, He explored and perfected the aesthetic beauty of the academic nude, the composition of city and landscapes and portraits. But he was also intrigued by the aesthetic beauty of the "perfect" color flower-bouquet composition. 

Woodblock by Karl Pferchy (1888-1930), Austrian printmaker.

In spring 1883 Eduard Manet, on his deathbed, had finished his, some say the, 16 perfect flower-bouquets paintings (see here) from flowers brought by his friends to say farewell.

Manet's flowers also might have been an inspiration to Kuhns colleague French-German Baron Adolph de Meyer (1868-1949) to try his skills (below). Around 1920 he was the worlds highest payed photographer and famed for his (society) portrait photography. It is so good to see these lovely and delicate results in our digital erra, blinded by pixel madness en easy to use photoshop. We are all Kuhns and Meyers today. What stays is the admiration for the combination of originality, skill and true craftsmanship.

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


  1. A shame about the anonymous petunia bouquet/woodblock. It's a nice one. Loosely drawn in a painterly style and cut and printed by someone who knew what she (he) was doing.... The separate shadow block printed fairly wet so there is some watercolor-like shading to the shadow. I didn't know about Meyer. The hydrangea in the water glass is lovely.

    1. Thank you Andrew, sorry for the delay. Yes' it's a pity I don't know the makers name, it's really nice. I learn of new works and artists almost every day.