Thursday 27 August 2015

Emil Orlik: of Georgia O'Keeffe, Calla lilies, orthodontics, Jo Steiner, Senta Söneland and Egon Friedell.

Emil Orlik (1877-1932)
Charlotte Rollius (around 1885- ?) 
Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986)
Alfred Steiglitz (1864-1946)
Joseph (Jo) Steiner (1877-1935)
Julius (Gulya) Steiner (1878-1940)
Senta Söneland (1882-1934)
Egon Friedell (1878-1938)

Today I invite readers to follow my stream of consciousness starting with Emil Orlik. He appeared in before posting and, his influence great, he appeared in many postings before.

The starting point was: search Google for Emil Orliks still-life works and finding this "Bouquet" against a Japanese background:

and a companion painting based on the same idea (roman-antique background) flowers and a strange choise for back ground, perhaps wall decorations.

Any way: recognizing the Calla Lilies in the centre of Orliks painting brought me once again to Oriks student Charlotte Rollius (or Rollins ?) appearing both in before posting) and her Lily painting very much in the style of her teacher Orlik.

The Calla Lily brought me to Georgia O'Keeffe: who married Berlin/New York photographer Alfred Stieglitz.  She would become very famous with her very large flower paintings. One of her personal paintings (one of many Calla Lily paintings by her hand) fetched 9.000.000 $ in auction. 

It is said the Calla Lily personifies the eccentric artist: strong and independent. The hidden erotic symbolism is obvious. Georgia O'Keeffe was bisexual.  

And then, surfing, in a remote corner of the Internet I stumbled over this auction picture of a portrait by Orlik. Orlik the painter, the printmaker and great portrait artist. A drawing at first glance much like a caricature. But speaking from 2015 that is unfair. 

The lady in question, Senta Söneland, was drawn from life. Including her "Class II/division 1 maxillary protrusion": not orthodontically corrected. A century later it is found "necessary" to correct this God-given facial (skeletal) feature in almost every western youngster when reaching puberty. The horses smile regarded un-aesthetical and undesirable by parents and by society. And inferior to the universally accepted "normal and harmonic" and look-alike magazine advertisement Class-I smile, today the preferred standard. Something to think about. Paying the hand of the orthodontist instead of accepting the hand of God (I'm not religious, and a Class II/1 is not an illness: it's big business). 

Senta (Gerda) Söneland: posters by Jo Steiner. 

What Gerda (Senta) Söneland thought of her nowadays "undesirable" but full and charismatic mouthful of teeth I do not know. She was a popular German film and theatre actress and cabaret performer and had a successful show in the  Berlin Kurfürstendamm theater-world around 1910. She also was active in the women's liberation movement speaking and fighting in public for the right for women to vote. 

Senta Söneland committed suicide shortly after  becoming a widow in 1934. Which brought me to Joseph (Jo) Steiner a "Plakkatkünstler" (poster-artist) and his brother Julius (Gulya)

Selfportrait and his brother Julius by Jo Steiner.

His fabulous posters show the Berlin theater performers of the time (1910-ish) and give a nice picture of the Berlin theatre world and its characters. The poster for the "50 Wilde Togoweiber" (50 wild Togo women + men and children)  my favorite. In our politically correct times an unthinkable show touring  succesfully Europe in the early 1910's and even more unthinkable poster! Free entree, but at home Catholic and other Christians hypocritically saved aluminium chocolate-bar wrappers for the "Christian Mission" trying to convert these poor wild souls (encouraged and still in practice in the 1960's !)  

Finally Jo Steiner brought me to philosopher, journalist, theatre performer and  critic  Egon Friedell (read this great Wiki article about Friedell) whom's Jewish features were innocently  caricatured by Jo Steiner in Jewish self-mockery. In times being Jewish obviously wasn't  considered a problem. 


Two decades later Nazi propaganda would use the force of caricature for a dark and sinister reason. Friedell, on his arrest committed suicide by jumping from a window in Vienna in 1938. 

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game.." (Egon Friedell) 


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


Monday 24 August 2015

Marie Rollé: under the influence ?

Rollé, Marie
(Bern 15-05-1865 - 1942)
Swiss painter and printmaker.
Marie Rollé: Bielersee
My ongoing research concerning pioneering German Women Printmakers also includes German speaking artists: Swiss, Austrian, Scandinavian: artists who possibly were trained and influenced by or in German Art Academies, Schools, by German teachers and private Institutions.

Marie Rollé: "Arve am Gletscher" 1927. This print is known as a supplement to the magazine of the "Grafische Kunst Gesellschaft für verfielfaltigende Kunst" in Vienna (Austria). Copies of this wonderful print offered (Ebay) may  or may not have have the supplement original text printed in the lower regions of the sheet.  It seems possible (likely) this was removed. The originality of the signature M. Rollé is also doubtful. 


Hans Neumann (Munich 1873-1957) 2 color variations of the same print. 

I know of only one example, this print, by Marie Rollé. She studied in Bern with Paul Volmar (1832-1906) and in the Academie Julian in Paris but also with Bernhard Buttersack (1858-1925) in Munich. The print is regularly offered in Ebay but this one appeared  in a local sale recently. I'd missed it but received a reminder from a friendly reader. Although I am from "Europe's low-lands" and not particularly fond of mountain scenery I have to admit, unpacking   it is a really nice print, on heavy wove paper and it has an almost embossed "feel" and quality.   

Marie Rollé, Arve stone pine. 
Gos, Albert Henri (1852-1942)
(the same ?) Stone pine and Arve Gletcher  
Excavating the Internet I found Marie Rollé also painted the lone mountain pine. Her woodblock print however is more than just reminding of Hans Neumann's (1873-1957) print of a lone Alpine pine-tree (Swiss stone-pine) against a background of Swiss mountains. 

I assume (an educated guess) because of the complete absence of biographical and artist information on Marie Rollé that she learned printmaking from Neumann in Munich. The right time (around 1906/7), the right place and the similarities just cannot be ignored. See my posting on the Neumann brothers and their influence here*, or follow the labels below. Marie Rollé would have been one of many women artists/painters embracing this new craft. She was already in her 40's welcoming a new and popular means of marketing her skills and artistic talents as a free creating woman artist. 

Which brings me to some of Neumanns other not commonly seen prints and possible inspiration to other students and colleagues. His influence to southern originated artists possibly as far reaching as Emil Orliks was to the northern variety. After his switch from Munich to Berlin. 

Martha Wenzel (1859-1943) and Martha Cunz (1876-1961), both studied in Munich. They even seem to have added "Neumann-inspired" monograms to their prints. As did Marie Rollé. Martha Wenzels print was also published as a supplement. 

Else von Schmiedeberg-Blume (1876-1927(?), Berlin, blow left. Right: Hans Neumann.  

Marie Rollé is mentioned Dressler's Kunsthandbuch 1921: Fräulein (miss) living  in Bern (Sw.) Elfenstrasse nr.3. A member of the SfKV (Sweizerische freie Kunst Verein "Sezession".

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

Visit the recent and regular upload of collectable prints and other pre-owned art in my new gallery:


Monday 17 August 2015

There's more to life .................

Katshuhika Hokusai

Finding recently this small 11.1 x 11.1 cm woodblock print by Hokusai "Traveller in a Palanquin- Hakone" 1810 (yes, there's more to life than German women printmakers alone) lead me to: 

"Exhaustive Illustrations of the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tôkaidô". 

All Stations, 53 amazing woodblock prints can be seen and enjoyed here: 

at Poul Webb's Blog Art & Artists: Katshuhika Hokusai - Part 6

His serie of 10 Parts showing the complete (woodblock) works by Hokusai in october 2014. Perfect for a rainy day !

It was ! Raining-pooring, August 16th 2015, writing this posting.

A quick Google survey learns that most great Japanese printmakers depict traditional Palanquin bearers. There are many more examples to be found of course. It's always nice to learn and to see the context of a work of art. 
Hiroshige (1797 - 1858)
Hiroshige (1797-1858)

Ohara Shoson (1877 - 1945) 1910

Shotei, Takahashi (1871-1945)

All pictures borrowed freely from the internet(*) for friendly, educational and non commercial use only. 

(*) Ohmigallery & Fujiarts websites

Visit my new Galerie Ondine 

Sunday 16 August 2015

Dresslers Kunsthandbuch

is the achievement of painter and interior architect Willy Oskar Dreßler (Berlin 1876 - 1954 Eschede). He published his "Kunstjahr-buch" from 1906 to 1913 and later from 1920-1931 as "Dressler's Kunsthandbuch". 

Volume 1 is treating: "Bild, Kunst und Tonkunst", Volume 3 is on living Music scientists and Musicians and 

Volume 2: "Das Buch der lebenden deutschen Künstler"

It is this second volume, on living German artists that I was able to obtain recently by swapping. The "Who is Who" of artistic Germany in 1920. 

Other reference publications are: the French "Benezit, Dictionaire des Peintres .(8 volumes)" and the transcendent German "Thieme-Becker-Vollmer Künstler Lexicon" (37 volumes in 19 + 6 = 25 pocket size books (nowadays there are many cheap offers),

or its complete contents digitally accessible on 1 Cd-rom at unbelievable  bargain-price

My rare copy of Dresslers however has revealed some printmakers disappeared from all other records and Artist Lexicons but also much extra information in my research of forgotten and obscured German women printmakers (born 1850-1900): living and working addresses, purchases of works by museums and institutions, society memberships and exhibition data. 

The 1930 (9th and last) edition was reprinted in 1990 because of it's great value to the art world. My copy how ever is the 8th, 1921, edition

Between 1920 and 1930 artists wil have died (strikken from the contents of 1931) but many new entries were added. The 8th edition counts 768 pages, the 9th and last 1931 edition: 1376 pages ! No doubt there will be much interesting facts and obscured artist to be discovered.

Entry for Emil Orlik in 1921

I would very much like to be able to consult (obtain, buy, borrow or use) an affordable 1930 edition or 1990 reprint. Offers or suggestions welcomed !