Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Everett D. Wilson, printmaker

Everett D, Wilson (MA, MFA)
(1952-  )
American printmaker,
scenic artist, art director in theatre projects,
commercials, feature films etc...
Recently I was send some examples of woodcut prints by email. Prints, that are going to be used and published as illustrations in a book by his friend Don E. Webster in the fall. It's nice to see this vintage illustration technigue used in a brand new production. I think it is a good idea once in a while using the blog as a platform for contemporary and maybe otherwise never seen prints thus promoting these rather nice prints and maybe even the book. 
Everett wrote to me these were the first prints he'd produced after 30 years having worked in several different creative fields and entreprises in Hollywood and Texas. All I can say is I'm really and truly impressed. Here's a preview of 5 prints from the 20 that are going to be used for the book. All pictures are mouse clickable (try and find the hidden crane in the print below).

Please don't hesitate letting us know what you think by leaving a small comment. 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Elisabeth von Oertzen

Elisabeth von Oertzen
(1887- 1954)
German landscape, animal and portrait painter

Recently this woodblock print of a pair of red budgerigars (german: Rote Sittiche) came up on Ebay. 
They are actually two male Australian King Parrots (Alisterus Scapularis) at least according to this Wiki-photograph showing both sexes. They nevertheless seem to have a more then friendly relationship. The animal kingdom never ceases to amaze. 
The print is stylish strongly reminiscent of the early parrots (Ara's) prints created by Martin Erich Philipp (1887-1978) in 1908 and 1924. He did 7 different parrots prints (see my MEPH catalogue in the pages buttons) in his long career. 
Trying to find information on the Internet no further examples were to be found but digging a bit deeper I've found some interesting biographical and historical facts about this van Oertzen family that maybe will help unveil some more details Hopefully more examples of this hardly known and today obscured artist will turn up.
The family residence:  Rattey House some 80 Km. north of Berlin.
She was born in 1887 as a descendant of the von Oertzen, Gut (= house of) Rattey branch, in an old aristocratic, intellectually, military and politically important and influential family. She married 1913 Ulrich von Oerzten a relative from another branch of the same family tree. 
Her sister Augusta von Oertzen, the later journalist, was one of the first German women earning a university degree (doctorate in philosophy) in 1918 in Germany. She also has a namesake: Elisabeth von Oertzen-von Thadden (1860-1944) who was a German provincial writer.

Their son Hans Ulrich was born in 1915, the same year her husband Ulrich died in Flanders Fields in one of the battles at the Somme. Hans Ulrich von Oertzen in 1944 just before being arrested by the Gestapo committed suicide after being caught in the German resistance attempt, Operation Valkyrie together with count Claus von Staufenberg (1907-1944), to assassinate Adolph Hitler. The attempt failed. Elisabeth's biography obviously not one of the happiest stories, there's even more to come. 

After the untimely death of her Brother Henning, in 1928, Elisabeth (Else) had to give up the family house and property of Rattey in 1931 (it's now a luxury Hotel) moving with her son to Berlin where she was a member and a board member of the Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen 1916-1935 and director of the painting and drawing school of the VdBK. Making her acquainted with many other Berlin based illusive printmaking artists like Marianne von Buddenbrock (?) Else von Schmiedeberg-Blume (1876, after 1927), Margarete L.E. Gerhardt (1873- ), Meta Cohn-Hendel (1883- ), Hélène Mass (1871- ), Käthe Kolwitz (1867-1945), Erna Halleur ( - 1940), Auguste Lind-Graf (-1941), Eva Maria Marcus (1889-1970) and a great  many other artists.
It is said Else von Oerzten was personally encouraged by the last German Empress Augusta Victoria (1858-1921) wife of Emperor Wilhem II (1859-1941). Wilhelm was the grandson of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) and Augusta granddaughter of Victoria's half-sister Feodora (1807-1872), the marriage was arranged.   
It is also mentioned that Else von Oertzen was particularly interested in painting Zoo animals, like the parrots in the print above. Which must have pleased her teacher in München Leo Freiherr von König (1871-1949). 

According to his wonderful "Sleeping Tiger" he also favoured  visiting and painting in the Zoo. Von Köning himself a student of the Academie Julian in Paris was, together with Lovis Corinth (1858-1925) and Max Liebermann (1847-1935), one of the founders of the Berliner Secession. 
 Left: Lovis Corinth,     Right: Max Liebermann
Else von Oertzen exhibited in Berlin 1928 and travellled to France and Britain to paint and study.

I invite readers who are able and willing to add information and share possibly more examples of her art. The other German printmakers mentioned will be featuring in planned postings soon or have been treated before, like Margarete  L.E.M. Gerhardt (here*) and (here*) and Else Schmiedeberg-Blume (here*) or follow the labels added to this posting.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Heinrich Knirr & Lucien Jules Simon

Besides the sun, the sea and the sands, what do these two paintings of "a Day at the Beach", both created around 1910, have in common ?

Well, the first one is by German Heinrich Knirr (1862-1944) and the second is by French Lucien Jules Simon (1861-1945). They came into, lived and left the world about the same time. 
Left and middle : Lucien Simon by Charles Cotet (1863-1925) and a selfportrait; 
Right: a portrait of Heinrich Knirr 

Both man in their time have ran influential and highly respected painting schools, Knirr in München (the Knirr School of Painting also saw Paul Klee (1879-1940) and Emil Orlik (1870-1932) as students) and Simon besides a later teacher at the Academie Julian as well as in his studio in the  the Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris in the beginning of the XXth century tought at the Academie de la Grande Chaumière (in and named after the Rue de la Chaumière) in Paris. Walter Sickert (1860-1942) and Osip Zadkine (1890-1967) also tought there. 

Professor Knirr gained a reputation in later life as the painter who did (too) many portraits of Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) and his mother:

and Simon married the sister of noted landscape painter André Dauchez (1870-1948), Jeanne. He not only fell in love with the sister but also with the Breton people and landscape. Like his brother-in-law he became a famous painter of the Breton people and landscape.
He also was the father of animal sculptur Paul Simon (1892-1979) seen in this painting with one of his three sisters probably Lucienne.
Both men were quite famous and have had a great influence on many artists. 

What ties them together is they both saw artist and printmaker Else Schmiedeberg-Blume (Worbis 1867-1927 Leipzig) as their student. Simon probably as privat teacher in Paris. Else when living and working in Berlin and as a  member of the  Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen most probably will have known fellow member, board member, director of the Berlin painting and drawing school and artist Elisabeth von Oertzen (1887 - ?) A woodblock print by her showed up recently and, although very little is known about her life,  she will be the subject of my next posting.

You'll find a very fine and rare copy of the "Sonnenblumen" woodblock print by Else Schmiedeberg on offer in the above Sale-room page. Swapping it with one of her other flower prints is also negotiable.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fernand Lantoine, traveler painter.

Fernand Lantoine
(1876 - 1955)
French painter and lithographic printmaker.
Appointed Marine painter 1922.

There's more to Life then printmaking alone and I've warned readers in advance: I've met some very nice and interesting artists along the quais of Paris this summer worth sharing. 
With Fernand Lantoine I've met a painter who not only saw and painted the little steam crane on Quai de la Tournelle (left) but who also painted the Paris washer boats (bateaux lavoirs, below) both subject of discussion in recent postings. He did it in a  wonderful impressionist way using a combination of   suggestive warm and golden summer colors probably originally invented by Vincent van Gogh in these two glorious paintings  below dated 1889/90.

Besides I discovered Fernand Lantoine had a most interesting life and career and left us some very, to me at least, appealing paintings in some very different genres. When you know I perticularly like nice beach paintings, and besides I'm always in for 
works of art showing interiors with grand piano's, but also seascapes with nostalgic  steamer boats, 
and paintings showing exotic places, in exotic colors, with exotic people in  impressive and impressing perspectives, you'll understand why.  
Lantoine was born in Maretz in the North of France and went to live and work in Bruxelles as a (very) young man in 1891, joined the army, faught and sketched in the battle fields of Flanders and after 4 years as a POW was again send to the trenches now on the Russian front. He survivid, worked, organised and held his first exhibition in 1920. How he was trained or he was a self-taught artist I haven't been able to find out, yet.
In 1922 he was appointed "Peintre de la Marine", and now officially appointed as Navy painter enabled him to travel and paint extensively. He first adapted and followed Theo van Rijsselberghe (1862-1926) and George Seurat's (1859-1891) scientifique Pointilisme. In later life he created a much more simplistic but always colorfull and consistent approach and way of painting. 
After he visited Belgian Congo he stayed and lived there for some time and much in the way of Paul Gauquin (1848-1903) before him fell in love with the land and its colorfull people. He created his most intimate and most colorful work here. 
He also seems to have decorated with his painting the Paquebots, the iconic steamer boats, umbellical connectors of motherlands, colonies and far away Oriëntal destinations. 
His painterly style was over the years called, Avantgarde, Oriëntalist, Africanist, Simplistic even. He was named a Post-impressionist painter, a painter-traveller and a Fauvist. All of wich no doubt are or were true to some extent and at some point.  
In WW2 he fled to the free South of France were he kept painting, the Mediteranean shores and its villages 
His Marine employement enabled him to keep travelling and painting. From the Arctic Sea and the Fjords of Norway to Oceania, Madagascar and Somalia unill the day he died in 1955 in the town where he was born: Maretz.
Since there are only a few galeries and auction houses occasionally showing a picture I decided on a rainy day it would be fun to award this artist a posting with some biography scratched together from different sources and a couple of hands full of selected and favorite paintings in the humblest of Weblogs.
The friends Fernand Lantoine made and met abroad and in the Congo are a colorful and and interesting lot too: Jean Baptiste Olive (1848-1936), August Mambour (1896-1968), Fernand Allard l'Olivier (1883-1933)  and last but not least: Pierre Vaucleroy (1892-1980) who was a printmaker too and who shall have a posting of his own. 
Next: more Bateaux Lavoir inspired paintings by various famous but also some lesser known painters.