Friday, 20 February 2015

Käthe Münzer: Found it !!

Käthe Münzer-Neumann


Regular readers may remember this watercolor by Käthe Münzer I used trying to find Fanny Remak a few postings back. Well, I've found it: Käthe is showing the Herculesbrücke connecting Lützlowplatz to the Tiergarten area crossing the Landwehrkanal. A man made short-cut of river Spree flowing through Berlin.  

She stood or sat, maybe on the terrace of the Albrechthof café on the opposite side of Luetzlow square, and facing West in the direction of nearby Berlin Zoo. 

Here in the Tiergarten Park area, in Viktoria-straße (parallel to Potsdamer-strasse) Max Liebermann and Paul Cassierer ran his famous Kunst-Salon buying from and selling the impressionists and introducing Vincent van  Gogh to the "nouveau-riche". And also Lesser Ury had his studio here, in Lützow-strasse. Later he moved to nearby Nollendorf Platz where his studio he was a neighbor of George Mosson, a painter of mainly flowers and who ran a private painting school. Both men taught at the Painting and Drawing school of the "Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen". Both were in the Gruppe XI, eleven artists opposing the Kaisers choice of "what is art and what is not" in 1892 preceding the Berlin Secession. Ury left us many paintings of the Landwehrkanal and Tiergarten Park. Mosson we'll meet in next posting.      

View on Nollendorfplatz by Lesser Ury 

All was destroyed in WW2. Squares, bridges, buildings. All the trees of the immense park were cut down and used as fire wood after the war ended. Only one of the two grand statues of Hercules, placed in the middle of the bridge, survived and is now in nearby Kölnischer park. The sphinxes with "putti" are lost. 

The statues were re-used from an older Hercules Bridge in the centre that was demolished constructing Berlin's U-bahn. The new bridge replacing an older wooden bridge across the Landwehr Canal. 


Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury
in Tiergarten Park

In Tiergarten by Max Lieberman and by Lesser Ury

Both Liebermann, generally considered Germanies greatest impressionist, and Ury painted often in Tiergarten park. Ury, who was like Liebermann Jewish, only later found recognition and is now considered "The" painter of old Berlin. 

Hercules Brücke and Landwehr canal by Lesser Ury

"Tiergarten im Herbst" by Lesser Ury

Ury's career was much hindered by a jealous Liebermann, who was worshipped  like a God even during his lifetime but was not able to accept another great artist so nearby: like the sun he burned the wings of his colleague like an Icarus in public.     
Konrad von Kardorf (1877-1945)
in Berlin

Luetzlow-Brücke (one bridge downstream of Herkules-Brücke) 
and Viktoria-Straße. 

Ernesto Barbero (1887-1937)
Luetzow Brücke 

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


  1. Gerrie - congratulations on another bit of super-sleuthing. How did you locate that bridge? I love your blog not only for the wonderful prints you showcase, but for the window you open on a lost world of forgotten artists and the places they frequented and depicted - now often altered or utterly disappeared. I will note that it's a bit disorienting to see streetscapes by Ury with no rain, snow or horsecabs in view. TiB

    1. Well thank you ever so much for your fastest, Mother of all comments. I found this one out myself, I said proudly. I can not get these puzzles out of my mind. The reward is so much greater then solving the newspaper crossword or watering the begonia's. I guess I missed my vocation in an earlier life. A case of making up ?