Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Else Zinkeisen revisited: more Elbe fishing boats

Zinkeisen, Else
(Hamburg 27-08-1871 - ?)
Hamburg painter and printmaker. 

Harbored Elbe fishing boats drying sails. 

Belonging to the group of pioneer German women printmakers Else is almost at the end of my alphabetical research list: only Olga von Zitsewitz and Bertha Züricher to follow last. She came to mind when reader Tom (see before posting) has send me another print probably losing its makers signature, for sharing. An educated guess (the use of color, the way the horizon is done and the rather simply cut outlines of the vessels) would be Else Zinkeisen (After "eliminating" possibles:  Carl Thiemann, and Josephine Siccard Redl (both traveled and printed Venice lagune ships in evening settings) and Margarete (L.E.M.) Gearhardt but she was active in the Nidden Art colony in the Baltic).  

She is printmaker about whom I know so very little (*). I've shown her before in the Blog and I am confident eventually more about her identity and biography will be revealed and cleared up. With the help of readers. She clearly had a fascination for these Elbe ships so for that reason they are shown here together again. Seen from some height, looking down, suggests in some views she sat near the village of Blankenese (maybe lived there?). That lovely and picturesque spot adjacent to the bustling city and harbour of Hamburg I plan showing, artistically, in next posting.    

What I do know: 

Else was a member of the “Heikendorfer Künstler Kolonie” that sprang up around the house and studios of Heinrich Blunk (1898-1963) at the Kieler Forde, not far from Hamburg. Printmaker Oscar Droege (1898-1983) was a member (later becoming professor in Kassel) and painter Georg Burmeister (1864-1936). She followed private painting lessons in Hamburg and in Berlin with professor Franz Skarbina (1849-1910), in Munich with Angelo Jank (1868-1940). She studied also at prestigious Academie Colarossi in Paris and was professionally active in Hamburg around the 1920's. An expensive artistic  education and training for a girl in those days an indication for a (very) well to do background. 

Some random biographical notes concerning artistic Zinkeisen families: 

(*) Else  could be related to Dr. Eduard Zinkeisen a pharmacists who in 1849 founded a successful and in Paris awarded mineral water company in Hamburg. Probably succeeded in the company by a namesake (his son?) Eduard Zinkeisen into the XXth century.  
(*) Gabrielle Zinkeisen (b. Dresden 1879), a painter and color woodblock printmaker (I've never seen an example) who also happened to study with Franz Skarbina in Berlin according to Thieme Becker Lexikon. She had a painting sister Gertrud (b. 1877). 
(*) Anna (b.1901) and Doris (b.1898) Zinkeisen, British/Scottish sisters, painters and stage designers. Their father Victor Z. a timber merchant originated from a Bohemian family that settled in Scotland in the 18th century. 

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


  1. Her prints are really beautiful. Makes me want to travel to the oceans and the seas. Thanks, Gerrie.

    1. Thank you Karen, you'll be travelling to Hamburg next !