Sunday, 23 October 2016

Emma Kissling

In my ongoing research, composing the biographies of German women artists (born 1850-1900) involved in colour woodblock printmaking 1900-1940, I recently discovered Emma Kissing. Publishing the 300-400 biographies hopefully will lead to more understanding and more details on their lives, works and careers.  

Freytag-Kissling, Emma (? – 04-02-1913*)

Painter, graphic artist. Student in Munich of Lorenz Müller* (1868-1953). Married (1911-1912) professor Dr. Gustav Willibald Freytag (1876-1961) ophthalmologist and author. He was the son of Germany’s best read 19th centure writer and playright Gustav Freytag (1816-1895). 

* The suggested years of her marriage (between "Mlle" (miss) and her death) suggests she may have died in or after childbirth. Emma Kissing was Gustave Freytags  second wife. He remarried in 1929. 

Although not known by woodblock prints she is represented with 2 lithographic prints (with some 60 female and 85 male graphic artists) in the important 1904 Catalog of etchings, engavings and lithographs (chiefly German but including work by Austrian, Swiss, Dutch and English artists)” by Reinhard Piper, München.

As “Mlle (miss) Kissing” she created these great lithographic (deep-sea creatures) prints in the scientfique works: “Résultats des campagnes scient. accomplies sur le yacht Princess Alice de, Honoré Charles Grimaldi, Prince Albert I de Monaco (1848-1922)”: 1889/90 (Paul Kammerer) and 1901/1910 (1911 Eric Zugmayer). 

Prince Albert dedicated much of his life to oceanography. With his yacht Princess Alice he organized between 1896 and 1907 several expeditions, into the Mediterranean but also  to Spitsbergen, Svalbard and North of Norway.  

1905: She is mentioned in: “Ex libris: Buchkunst und angewandte Graphik”, Volumes 15-16.


* Müller, Lorenz (Mainz 1868 – 1953 Munich) was illustrator and since 1903 curator of Munich herpetological (reptile & and amphibian) department in the “Zoologischen Staatssammlung”. He studied extensively European reptiles and travelled to the Amazone 1909-1912.

1920: Antropologica 81, p.77: “Lorenz Müller in München, der ausgezeichnete Kenner und Künstler, und seine Schülerin Emma Kissling, spätere und dann allzu früh verstorbene Frau Prof. Dr. G. Freytag haben in uneigennütziger Weise die auf Tafel I — VIII vervielfältigten Eidechsenbilder gezeichnet und gemalt (welche Bilder von E. Kissling herrühren und welche von L. Muller, ist in der Tafelerklarung bemerkt).

Examples of these lithographic illustrations of lizards (Eidechsen), mentioned above, I could not find. 

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


  1. Fascinating deep sea creatures. She gave them artistry.

    1. Indeed, fascinating creatures and great drawings. Thanks Karen.