Friday, 30 September 2016

Another nice but unidentified print and printmaker: Help !

Before returning to some more regular postings in printmakers starting this weekend here's another fresh puzzle and enigma. 

This print showed up recently and I do not have the faintest idea who made it. It has a certain Hugo Noske (1886-1960) "feel" about it and I would love to know and give this artist his entry in my to be published relief printmakers index. 

Also very neglected printmaker Viktor Pirkhoff (1875-1962) came to my mind but these artists do not come near the signature R. C............ There's simply no artist matching in my archive. 

Please send in any suggestions for sharing. 

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Again: help requested ....... And a new Hélène Mass print for sharing.

Reader Kevin from America asked for identification help of readers of this Blog for his newly acquired print below. It's obviously a German village with gossiping women. But strangely enough the title "Small Village" is in English. Please feel free to send any suggestions. 

As a token of friendship and appreciation Kevin shared this (his) wonderful Helene Mass print, that I've never seen before.

Thank you Kevin !

I think it is the same region and created around the same date as this known print by the queen of "Farbholzschnitt" making. Most likely it's a landscape depicting a river Havel landscape and has some very Walter Leistikow's aspects.   

Please send any suggestions concerning the signature to: 

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Unknown printmaker, monogram O.F.

Help from blog readers is requested by faithful reader Wolfgang from Frankfurt who would like to know the maker of this "Steinböcke" print that was recently offered in German Ebay. Monogrammed O.F.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Erwin Frommbach: new finds !

Some two years ago, after finding a small print (below) I  shared all I could find about printmaker Erwin Frommbach (1892-1960's): read here


Recently, because reader Barbara Nicol found my Blog, I received a CD with more prints by Erwin Frommbachdiscoverd in her fathers estate. Erwin Frommbach was her great uncle: Erwin's sister Gertrud is Barbara's grandmother. Her father Klaus Loose who established the Bamberger Marionettentheater (see earlier posting) died earlier this year. So here are some rediscovered and hardly ever seen before prints for sharing. 

Landgut am See

Gehöft am Bergabhang

Stille Bucht


Im Thüringerwald

Landschaft aus Thüringen

Mühle aus Thüringen

Alte Linde
Thank you Markus Wehner for explaining the titles !


Monday, 5 September 2016

Lucien Dasselborne (L. Davril): a Belgian in Paris.

Lucien Dasselborne
(Louvroil, North-France 1873 – 1962 Doornik/Tournai Belgium)
also known as
L. Davril

The artists studio around 1950
Painter and aquatint etcher. Also known as L. Davril. Started painting during WW1 copying the works and drawings of WW1 and later Congo-Africa painter Fernand Allard L’Olivier (Doornik 1883-1933 Congo) and then moved to Paris for further studying. 

Fernand Allard l'Olivier 1914-1918
Lucien exhibited in the 1922 “Salon des Artistes Francais” (“mention honourable”) and in “la Société Nationale” and in 1931 in the Salon d”Automne. Working in Paris, but belonging to the “Ecole Belgique” he signed his etchings also L. Davril

Some of these aquatint etchings are quite lovely but many can be easily confused with the many unartistic and unattractive tourist stuff/wall paper prints that were sold (and bought) by the many thousands 1920-1950.  

Flanders landscape signed L.Davril (this one is nice!)

When you find a "typical Belgium aquatint etching" in autum colors showing a historic bridge, canal or building in Brugge or a typical Flanders landscape, the chances are 90% it is either signed by prolific Belgium etchers Alfred van Neste (1874-1969), Julien Celos (1884-1953) or Roger Hebbelinck (b. 1912 but nobody seems to know when he died, did he ?). Van Neste was academically trained in Antwerp, Hebbelinck and Celos in Brussels.

Alfred van Neste 

two rather nice Flanders canal prints by Roger Hebbelinck

There are hordes of these prints around (disposed of in house clearings and by grandchildren with Ikea taste), and although they are mostly irresistibly cheap finds in flea markets asking prices in auction sites like Ebay may suggest otherwise. These prints were very much to the taste of our grandparents: "old fashioned". But there are positive exceptions !  

"Flanders" signed L. Dasselborne
These prints (affordable, academical, colorful) adorned their homes as souvenirs often bought after a Low-lands tourist visit to one of the very picturesque Belgium medieval cities, Brugge, Gent, Brussels. Often as wedding presents for the new home. Most of them are today considered gloomy and dull. To be honest: most of them are. Most of them also are deeply browned (burned) because of cheap paper, by acidic mats (passe-partouts) or stained by two generations of happy smoking in small and poorly ventilated rooms ..........

Le Tour St. Jacques, Paris around 1920, on a rainy summer evening. 

Although Lucien Dasselborne (also d'Asselborne, it is a small village in neighboring Luxembourg where his ancestors will have originated from) was later trained in Paris, the sparse documentation says he is counted to the “École Belgique” (Belgian School), probably because of stylish similarities in his Belgium and Flanders landscape etchings compared with those of his Belgian colleagues. 
Same location around 1900. No automobiles yet. 

But, when in this case it is Paris and the artist, although he is not very good at drawing people, stages his design with pedestrians, horse and carriage, an automobile and even a tram and chooses a location that is rare among Paris artists this was as good a find as it gets on a rainy Sunday car boot sale near home. A bath removing the browning did it wealth of good.

Lucien Dasselborne choose “la Tour St. Jacques” seen from Rue de Rivoli on a gloomy evening I think shortly after WW1, around 1920, when he lived, worked, studied and exhibited in Paris. The tower and a small park is what is left of 16th century Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie church. It was the starting point of the Paris-Santiago (Compestalla) pilgrimage trail (the "Camino Santiago", 1072 Km, 666Miles). Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) choose the tower for his scientifique experiments with air-pressure earning him a statue at its foot. 

Besides probing into the life of Lucien Dasselborne this find was also meant to lead me to Fernand Allard l’Ollivier, the painter who after WW1 explored and travelled and lost his heart in Congo and painted its proud and beautiful people around lake Kivu.

l'Olivier ended tragically drowning after hitting his head and falling from the ferry in the Congo river near Stanleystad only 50 years old. 

Besides the Congo he also had a weak for bathing women and was a keen and humorous draughtsman. His sketches of his adventures in the Congo do taste for more !.

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

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Carl Anton Reichel, early Vienna modern printmaker.

Until october 3th 2016 the great exhibition Color Woodcuts in Vienna around 1900 ("Kunst für Alle", Art for All) is held in Frankfurt. Besides discussing the importance of the Vienna woodcut to all later users of the technique, among all fine prints there was one in particular, by Carl Reichel that irresistibly drew my attention. By the way, there's a great catalogue accompanying the exhibition available, condensed, digitally (PDF) here.  

Researching I found Reichel, in the early years of woodblock printmaking like many others liked to experiment with the effect of colors.

Reichel, Carl Anton
(Wels, Upper Austria  06-04-1874 – 25-10-1944 Vienna)

Austrian painter, art collector, art dealer, graphic artist and printmaker. Son of notary Anton Reichel (1843-1884) and Carolin Rabl (1851-1914). Began as a self-taught artist studying in Prag (1894-1895), Munich, Vienna and Paris (medicin, psychiatry, psychology). Worked in Großmain, Salzburg, Heiligenkreuz in Austria. Living in Munich 1903-04 he met graphic artist and book illustrator Alfred Kubin (1877-1959).

He married Hilde Konstanze Dolmatoff (b. Riga) probably in 1905, they had three children but Reichel left his family in the 1920’s to live in Paris with his great-niece, a daughter of his mothers nephew anatomist Carl Rabl (1853-1917) who was married to Marie Virchow (b. 1891) a daughter of famous “father of modern pathology” Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902). Virchow, a very famous German indeed, in 1855 had stolen the work of his colleague Robert Remak, the grandfather of Jewish artist Fanny Remak. Fanny Remak  was discussed extensively in this blog last year. It is funny and interesting to experience how things are connected.

In 1933 Reichel married actress Tony van Eyck (1910-1988). Initially he created prints with woodblocks but later turned to etching. Several astonishing modern colour woodblock prints, mainly female nudes, were conceived around 1909.

After WW1 he became close friends with Bavarian crown prince Rupprecht von Bayern (1869-1955) leading on his behalf the negotiations concerning the prince's royal status with Adolf Hitler. Although Reichel was imprisoned in Buchenwald concentration camp after “der Anschluß“ (Austria joining Germany in war) in march 1938 he was released the same year, it is said because of his friendship with the Führer himself in who’s home a work of Reichel was shown in 1943.  Reichel is buried in Vienna “Zentralfriedhof” together with painter Rudolf Sternad (Reichenberg/Bohemia 02-09-1880 - 05-01-1944 Vienna ) although I have no idea why........ They both died in 1944.   

Reichel is mentioned in Hans W. Singer’s 1914 “Moderne Graphik” (page 228/229), as a former physician (“ehemals ein Artzt”). Singer (his 540 page book is a must have for print enthousiasts) is particularly lyrical in describing the prints of  1) “a kneeling nude girl leaning with her left elbow on a chair” and the use and combination of colors: “silk-soft skin tones, dark carmosin, gray browns and the greens of the chair”, of 2) a”kneeling on the floor nude girl” with “Bordeaux red, palebrown, and dark skin colors forming a benevolent  trinity” and 3) a third girl with “almost red brown skin against a blue background”. The first prints mentioned I failed to find yet but the others are shown here after some internet searching. 

Singer further states that in Reichels landscapes “the colors combined have an almost mother-of-pearl lustre”. Helas: I could find no examples of landscapes by Reichel.


  All pictures embiggen by mouse-click

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