Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Maria Delago, an unexpected pleasure

Maria Delago
(St. Leonhard im Passeier 11-01-1902 – 02-10-1979 Bresanone)

Austrian Arts and Crafts  and ceramic artist, sculptor and printmaker.  

Thanks to a helping hand and a hint from Lily (of the much missed Japonism blog) I recently came to know this artist. Although she is slightly outside my field of research (born just after 1900) I immediately have included her into my research and biographies list: like Lily I love an artist who just needs her garden to inspire her to such delicate creations of lasting beauty. 
(See also Marlies Meinshausen-Felsing, Thea Gutmann, Lisbet Schultz: follow labels below)   

These color etchings remind me strongly of the delicate floral prints by Scandinavian printmaker Maja Fjaested (1873-1961) whom I introduced earlier (here, or follow the label below) in 2011 in this Blog. 

Maria was the artistic daughter of a district judge and Rosa Amalia Plant. Studied 1922-1926 in the “Kunstgewerbeschule des Östereichischen Museum für Kunst und Industrie” in Vienna with sculptor, ceramist and glass artist Michael Powolny (1871-1954) (right). 

Powolny was a craftsman working in clay and glass and created some stunningly beautiful glasswork (for the famous Art Deco Bohemian glass company of Loetz) and worked also in relief. His experience and skills inspiring Maria Delago later to create her often biblically inspired stoneware plaquettes and some very beautiful earthenware pottery.   

In 1928 she studied in Munich “Kunstakademie” with cartoonist Olaf Gulbransson (1873-1958). Gulbransson, a Norwegian, friend of Max Liebermann and a member of the Berlin Secession since 1914 drew since 1902 for the satirical Simplicissimus Magazine. Just Google his name to enjoy his timeless humor and a 100 years later still very modern work. 

His views on how our creator sees upon us (without cloths) and when we have arrived at the end of our earthly time (just potty trained) are food for some serious reflection. 

But Gulbransson besides his satirical work also painted (below), portraits like Hans Holbein (1497-1543) (his wife Grete) and in his very "simple" Spring Landscape shows the origin and influence on Maria Delago's later botanical graphic work. 

She moved to, lived and worked in the city of Bolzana (Bozen) and in the 1930’s lived and worked for while in the Netherlands employed by the “Mosa” ceramics company in Maastricht. In 1948 she returned to her native region (Tirol, Austrian-Italian borderland) and established a studio in Bolzano (Bosen). 

In 1964 she received the Walther von der Vogelweide(*) price and was awarded a honorary membership of the “Südtiroler Künstlerbund” in 1968. Known for her delicate floral coloured etchings and ceramic reliefs of biblical themes.  She died of complications caused by a traffic accident.

(*) Walther von der Vogelweide (c.1170- c 1230): Germany's greatest Middle High German lyric Poet. Woodblock print by printmaker Carl Alexander Brendel (1877-1945)

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