Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Miss Rosa Paul: a forgotten Martha Cunz student

Thanks to reader Wolfgang I was informed about an exhibition held in Sankt-Gallen (Sw.) "Historisches und Völkerkundemuseum" (historical and ethnographic museum): "Faszination Farbholzschnitt" around St. Gallen's most famous woodcut artist Martha Cunz. It runs until march 2017 and there's a catalogue raisonné on her work published by it's enthousiast director and author Dr. Daniel Studer.  

Martha Cunz (1876-1961) is known to have been a teacher to many printmaking artists, and in the exhibition there are 4 examples of prints by one particularly talented student: "Fraulein R. Paul". 

Schweinfurt, Roßmarkt by Rosa Paul.  

Miss Paul visited to study with Martha Cunz in St. Gallen in 1908 and in 1909 and left these 4 examples of her efforts in the collections and archives of her teacher. I've never seen any prints by her on the market and she is not mentioned in any of the artists lexicons: she seems to have disappeared from the records after 1909.

Weißkohl Markt (after 1907 !) 
But I had a hunch the market scene may be a clue to where miss Paul originated from. Wolfgang suggested "somewhere North of the Alps" so possibly Bavaria (Bayern) ? The very specific watchtower ("Wachturm") and market ("Marktplatz") might be one day recognized by an attentive reader, he suggested. 

Roßmarkt, Rosa Paul may have lived in one of these houses. In the background the fire watch
Looking down from the Fire Watch Tower towards Roßmarkt 

The truth is this wonderful medieval scene (the watch tower  actually is the "Feuerwehrturm" (fire watch) build or renewed in 1907 so shortly before she travelled to Martha Cunz Switzerland) was destroyed by allied bombing: it is Roßmarkt in Schweinfurt on river Main, right in the heart of Germany, 60 km, east of Frankfurt. The damaged watch was demolished in the 1950's.

Rosa Paul is mentioned (M. "Malerin" - painter) living Roßmarkt 1 in my copies of Dresslers Kunsthandbuch 1921 and 1930. But she's left no traces in the Internet nor  in any artist lexicon. Food for local historians, but a new name in my "German Women Printmakers Lexicon".    

Turkeys, (Truthahn) by Rosa Paul 

and by Cläre Neuhaus (1882 - 1932?) and Walter Klemm

Since Rosa Paul's prints are true examples of "early" printmaking (before 1910 when Orlik was busy teaching in Berlin, Klemm and Thiemann in Dachau and Martha Cunz in Sankt Gallen) I'll show them with some examples by other early printmaking icons.  

Rosa Paul 

Duck prints by Helene Grande-Tüpke (1871-1946) 

Spring meadow: Rosa Paul 

 Hedwig Matthiessen (1879- after 1930).

Please send information concerning miss Rosa Paul (apparently she stayed unmarried) living and working in Schweinfurt (1910-1930). 
All new information on this unknown artist will be shared in this Blog. Research "on the spot" is already promised.........  


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

Prints by Rosa Paul shown thanks to Wolfgang Barina in Frankfurt who took photographs at the exhibition in St-Gallen this week. 
Courtesy ("mit Genehmigung") of Dr. Daniel Studer, St.Gallen.  


  1. What is the title of the Cruz print 2962771_orig.jpg?

    1. Auf der Messe. 1905. Farbholzschnitt von 5 Stöcken in Gelb, Orange, Rot, Blau, Schwarz, Lilagrau, Lichtstrahlen mit Pinsel. Unten rechts in Bleistift signiert: M.Cunz, links bez.: „Auf der Messe / Orig. Holzschnitt Handdr. No. 22". U.l. im Stock monogr.: CM. 36,8 : 31,7 auf 40,4 : 34,3 cm.