Monday, 12 March 2018

Clara Telge (part III): Hina Matsuri

Clara Telge
(1870 - 1942)

(Part III)

Co-incidence or serendipity ? 

This wonderful painting emerged in auction in the first week of March while I was still deeply involved in my research into the life of forgotten Hamburg painter Clara Telge. Sold: and although I tried, sadly not to me. I was too involved reading and discovering the 1922 remarks by Hungarian Fauvist  Vilmos Perlrott-Csaba (1880-1955) about the quality of Clara's work (see before posting). I think the quality in this painting is what he meant and was referring to. I'm not an expert on paintings but would it be far fetched to recognize the free and impressionist hand of her Berlin teacher Lovis Corinth (1858-1925) ?    

Lovis Corinth: portrait of an older lady
A double co-incidence because on first (European) glance it is "just" a painting of "some Chinese Dolls". The 4 puppets arranged and displayed before a mirrored mantelpiece, most likely in Clara's home and possesion, are actually showing  members of the imperial Japanese family. 

Detail of Clara Telge's painting.
The tradition setting up or installing a home altar with the beautifully dressed puppets the third day of the third month is deeply imbedded in Japanese culture and is called Hinamatsuri (Hina-matsuri, 雛祭り). It happens to co-incide or is also called "Girl-day" or Princess-day . Read here (follow the link) all about this history and tradition in Kyoto National Museum

Although Clara was born in Shanghai (in China) and her father had a long career and thriving business in China, the moment I discovered this painting I also found the link to Japan which I shall reveal in next episode and posting. 

As this "Hina-matsuri" is only the third example of an oil painting by Clara known to me I invite readers and passers-by sending other examples for sharing as well as details about her life and family helping me to compose her short biography.

Next: Part IV, Clara's father in the Orient  

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

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