Friday, 8 January 2016

E.S.: A peculiar woodblock print and some thoughts concerning ....

Before continuing with Paul Prött (before posting) a new puzzle. 

A rather unusual, strange and "desolate" composition: an otherwise empty (cleared ?) farmhouse kitchen with a (cold) fire, a kettle and a sleepy calico  cat. Where are the chairs and the table, things on the wall and ceiling, why isn't there a fire ? What is the printmaker trying to tell us ? The owners gone, dead perhaps ? A last glance before leaving ................ forever ? 


On closer inspection it was, I'm happy to say, a (German) woodblock print, after all. The colors are printed by blocks and not done by hand and brush. 


A rather unusual print but with a technically and artistically high level approach. Look at the detail of the light-fall through the windows on the wall and floor. It has been given a new matt some time ago (rusty nails) and, out of the frame, I had a peek under the matt to look for a signature. But there isn't. Why not ? A proof perhaps  ? 


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The calico cat reminds me of the one print, with a curious calico (or is it tabby) cat, I know by the hand of painter Lily Ehrenberg-Teufel wife of impressionist painter Paul Ehrenberg (1879-1949). She was born 27-05-1897 and probably murdered by the Nazis. Both were in the circles of writer Thomas Mann. 


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So E.S. is what's there is to go on: besides hunches, memory, and archive. Have I seen similar prints before ? Who did cats, who did "such" interiors, when was it made, does the paper give any clue, who could have been able to ?


Wisfhul thinking: Else Schmiedeberg(-Blume)? Not impossible, but wishful thinking it is. There are similarities in the paper and use of color (above, from another print). Maybe. I know of a dozen or so prints by my printmaking muze (she is !) but she either uses no monogram at all. Or ES, or an interlaced ESvB cut conspicuously into the block. On the other hand: 12 prints is not much to go on. 


Emma Schlangenhausen, did a cat, but don't think so (and I have no knowledge of her trying at color printmaking)


Else Staps (uses E.St.), not likely. 

Edmund Schaeffer (only known from monochrome prints), uses E.Sch

 Ernst Stiefendorfer (or Stiefenhofer ?) (uses E.Sti and hand colors his prints)

And then there are: Engelbert Schoner, Eberhard Schramm, Emil Schuller, Erich Sperling ?

So if readers might have any idea, educated or wild guess: I'm open for any creative or academic suggestion. Or maybe there's simply some one who happens to know this print.

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