Friday, 25 November 2011

Ernst Rötteken, rarest prints (II)

Ernst Rötteken 
German Painter and Printmaker

His rarest prints (II)

I think you’ve enjoyed the first series of Röttekens rare prints. So today I will share some more, before starting new postings on other interesting lowlands printmakers. This also allows keeping these 2 postings nicely together as a future reference. See for a reference to Röttekens more basic, widespread and popular prints here* (Link) or follow the Shop Button (above) to German Printmakers

3 studies of Geraniums
Ernst Rötteken was born in 1882 as the second son of Fritz Rötteken, veterinarian and equerry to the last King of Hannover George V (cousin to Queen Victoria). His father build a large family house within the walls of the old city of Detmold and Ernst, after finishing the Detmold Gymnasium, started his studies at first following courses in Botany. 
His knowledge of plants would later be of great help and value to his before mentioned endeavour allowing ordinary people to buy and own “real and good art” to decorate their houses instead of the kitsch and rubbish they were accustomed to and for whom his big landscape oil paintings were financially out of reach.

It was the same thought Vincent van Gogh wrote to his sister ”What I really would like to do is to paint for those who have no knowledge of artistic values”.

2 Studies of orchids

Rötteken originally was trained in traditional German landscape painting as a classical painter in Düsseldorf and later Karlsruhe Kunstakademie. And he was to become the leading and very successful painter of the Lippe landscape.
Village of Schwalenberg 1935
It was not before 1928 Rötteken, now in his mid 40’s, started his career as a woodblock (linoleumblock) printmaker after successfully trying and publishing a map of lithographic landscape prints in 1926. In his heydays his technically well made and well designed aesthetic flower compositions were ordered and sold in some 450 art shops in and beyond the province of Lippe all over Germany. The same method (flower prints, catalogue and selling points) of selling art to the "masses" was followed by contemporary Dutch printmaker Arie Zonneveld (1905-1941) whom I mentioned in this Blog many times before. Curiously both printmakers each created some 50 prints in their lifetime, but Zonneveld (although very short lived) created also some miniature landscapes which I've planned showing soon. 
Cactus and Geranium by Arie Zonneveld, also rare prints  

Both printmakers, to this day, are still very much appreciated and loved and are again collected by print enthousiasts not restricted to Lippe or Germany but because of Ebay and the computer all over the world.

Rötteken, early studies in composition; Irisses and Azalia's 

It takes a lot of time and research composing these articles. Leaving a comment, corrections or suggestions after reading therefore is always very much appreciated.

Some postings have been visited and consulted (borrowed and used !) over 900 times. Without leaving a single notice.

If I wasn't convinced you were probably very busy and forgot to, it could easily be interpreted as not very polite.

(Please consider that borrowing and using these unique pictures makes one very traceable.)


  1. This is fascinating! I noticed that Rotteken died in 1945; was his death caused by the war?

  2. Yes these are great prints, and I was very lucky to find, see and share them. Rötteken died in his bed of Pleuritis (often caused by an earlier or underlying Pneumonia)

  3. Beautiful prints!

  4. I'm working backwards through your blogs and learning so much. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I also enjoy your give and take with Charles. I've already read all of his blogs.

  5. Hello Karen,
    thank you for your kind compliments, very much appreciated. I'm glad you've enjoyed reading the posts as much I like to give and take with dear Charles.