Monday, 8 February 2016

Richard Graef: comics and a roofed bridge

Graef, Richard 
(Oberweißenbach, Post Selb, Oberfranken 26-04-1879 -?)
Painter, illustrator and graphic artist. 

Self portrait

This woodblock last week appeared in Ebay: "Pantoffelheld", "slipper hero" but I think Vagabond or Tramp would be a better attempt translating. Searching the Internet I found several of his comic illustrations for Simpliccimus satirical magazine which appeared 1896-1944 and was published in Munich. Including more examples of this bearded character.  

Working in Dachau near Munich he had studied in Munich in the painting school of Anton Azbe (1862-1905) and with Hans von Hayek  (1869-1940) in Dachau and later in Paris. He created a portfolio with woodblocks: “Dachauer Land” Dachau 1916. 
Donau near Regensburg 

Anton Azbe ran his painting school in Munich 1819-1905 (Wassily Kandinsky was among his students) and Hans von Hayek ran a private painting school in Dachau 1900-1915 (Norbertine Bresslern-Roth and Carl Olof Petersen, who also drew for Simpliccismus, were among his students). 

But I saved this, 1916, (very "Japanese") woodblock for last, a wooden bridge across a small river: but where ?  In German it would be called an "überdachte Holzbrücke" or roofed wooden bridge. Readers are invited to help, since I was not able to understand it's title. 

Once you know it you see it: Atzwang. 
Thank you Markus for solving the location overnight !
For more details see next posting please. 

Printmaker Carl Thiemann (1881-1966) who worked and lived in Dachau wrote in his memoirs about the visiting students in Dachau following summer painting courses in Hayeks painting school. I think it is only reasonable to assume it will have been Thiemann who initiated Graef in the technique of woodblock printmaking.  

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


  1. The covered bridge crosses the Eisack creek near the village Atzwang (aus stated in the print) in the region of Bolzano/Bozen, Italy. As far as I know it is still there and functional.

    1. Thank you Markus ! I will update immediately.