Friday, 31 March 2017

Käthe Kuntze: Forgotten Dresden artist (Part 1)

 Käthe Kuntze 

(Dresden 1878 - after 1928) 

Dresden painter, drawer lithographer, etcher and printmaker.

This very nice woodblock print "Sonnenflecken" for a long time was the only printmaking example I knew by this artist. In fact it was the only example of any work by her for a long time. It was published in the 2012 catalogue "Frauenkunst, Kunst von Frauen: Katalog 102" by "Joseph Fach Gallerie und Kunstantiquariat" in Frankfurt. Before you have any ideas: it was sold. The catalogue however is still available and besides the many (350) wonderful examples of very different works contains many biographical details in 200 hardcover pages (try, Amazon, ZVAB etc.. and order a copy for around 20€ .........postage included).   

This picture was the reason of my interest and research into this artist and her short biography is included in the 400 German women artists involved in woodblock printmaking in the upcoming publication. Käthe was the deaf mute daughter of a wealthy banker in Dresden and according to the few available sources she lived in the keepers-house on her fathers estate in Radebeul, a posh suburb of Dresden. And when you compare this buildings recent situation to her 1910 print: there are certain similarities suggesting maybe ......... 

She was enabled to study privately with the finest teachers in Dresden and Munich and later joined the "Künstlergruppe Chemnitz" which was in existence 1907-1933. 

In this association of Dresden painters and graphic artists we find Rose Friedrich (1877-1953) (above) and Martha Schrag (1870-1957) (below), artists I also came to know graphically from just one, a single, colored block-printmaking example. So they might as well appear here also. Rose Friedrich's "Gut mit Pappeln" is an early example of printmaking in Dresden possibly created well before 1910 and I cannot help seeing influences and similarities with Gabrielle Munter's earliest printmaking efforts and Emil Orliks Bohemian castle composition.     

And then recently I found this etching by Käthe Kuntze (below) of the "Blumenmarkt" in the heart of Dresden: the Altmarkt. She stuffed her accurate and carefully build claire-obscure composition with people in a way Paul Paeschke (1875-1943) would. 

The dark structure is the "Sieges-denkmal "or "Germania-denkmal" erected 1880 commemorating the fallen Dresden inhabitants in the French-German War 1870-1871. It survived WW-II bombing and firestorms but what remained was removed in 1949 and here it is depicted against and Germania facing the "Alte Rathaus" (old City Hall). There's nothing left of all the beautiful facades of this historic square today. 

But Käthe' artistic obscurity (obscured to me, in Google, adressbooks and most Art Lexicons she is not or hardly mentioned) is about to end with a recent discovery. More surprising woodblocks, drawings, etchings in next upcoming postings. 

In the meantime if you have examples of works by these Dresden women artists, biographical or genealogical facts please send. Information on her life, career and her family is still very scarce and I hope through sharing in this Blog and soon in the book more will come too light. 

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

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