Saturday 28 January 2017

Eibsee und Zugspitze

M. Jung ?
(Unknown printmaker) 

"Eibsee and Zugspitze" near Garmisch Partenkirchen 

This print was in Ebay for quite some time and I have no clue yet who might have created it. I read M. Jung.?? but I may be mistaken. It has been cut and printed in the "traditional" way much like these "Fichte", fir trees, by my printmaking muze Else Schmiedeberg. 

I have no printmakers in my archive with these initials but Vienna "Wienerwerkstatt" artist M(oriz) Jung (1885-1915) but what I know of his wonderful graphic work does not come near although he is mentioned as "Holzschnitt" artist. 

I'm not an Alps or Bavaria expert but Googling I discovered this spectacularly beautiful region on the German-Austrian border: near Garmisch Partenkirchen, some 70 km south of Munich. The location is pretty accurate. And thanks to the limitless possibilities of the Internet I think this photo is taken from about the same spot where the artist stood 80-100 (?) years ago.  

Please help me to identify this printmaker. 


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

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Wilhelm Koch: Kreuzkirche in Reichenberg (Liberec)

Koch, Wilhelm 
(24-04-1892 – last mentioned 1962)

In before post my research into this print and its maker that showed up in Ebay recently brought me to Dresden artist Hildegard Koch. I've never come across her name before and I learned, to my surprise, she lived next door to to some well known early women printmakers, even exhibiting with them in Dresden. I do not think Hildegard was into printmaking (there's no proof whatsoever) so I conclude I may have never met her otherwise. A lucky encounter. 

I even had in my pictures archive a (better) picture of another copy of this remarkably good  "Kreuzkirche" print but now titled: "Abenddämmering" (twilight)  

The print shows the "Kreuzkirche" in Reichenberg and is titled "Unterhalb der Kreuzkirche". Reichenberg = Liberec, a small industrial town in Bohemia (now Czech republic), north of Prag, home town of another great printmaker: Carl Johne (1887-1959). It took a while connecting Wilhelm to this particular church but finally we did (thanks again Wolfgang).

Johne, working as a teacher Reichenberg "Knabenschule" (school for boys, below) will no doubt have known the maker of this print: Wilhelm Koch. He also for many years held a position as a teacher in a Reichenberg school. 

Koch was a painter, illustrator and graphic artist. I cannot say he was born in Reichenberg, he is also mentioned living in Achental near Törwang in Upper Bavaria near the Austrian border. But that could also have been after WW2 when all German citizens were forced to leave and expelled. 

Wilhelm Koch: unidentified location.
All suggestions and identification welcomed.

Karl Johne: Römerstadt in central Bohemia (now Czech Republic) 

He studied 1910/12 in Reichenberg at the “Kunstschule des Gewerbe-museums”, which gives reason to believe he was actually from this region. In 1913/14 in Gablonz' (near Liberec) “Kunstgewerbliche Fachschule für Glas und Metall” and 1915/16 at Vienna “Kunstgewerbeschule”(Art and Craft school). In Reichenberg-Liberec he taught for many years (1926-1945) graphics and Arts and Crafts in Reichenberg's “Kreisberufsschule” and is mentioned for his color woodblock prints (only two known).

View on Reichenberg ("Heimat") by Carl Johne.  

He illustrated “Zwischen Himmel und Erde” by Otto Ludwig (1813-1865) and works by  Theodor Storm (1817-1888) an exhibited 1929 in Landesmuseum Stuttgart (see below for Stuttgart). He was als involved in the celebrations with the 100th anniversary of Karl May (1842-1912) in 1942. 

Ferdinand Porsche (Reichenberg 1875-1951 Stuttgart ) was also born in the Reichenberg region, he died in Stuttgart leaving an imperium.  

Wilhelm Koch is not mentioned in Dresslers Kunsthandbuch, but he is Thieme-Becker and in Kürschners Graphiker-Handbuch 1959. 


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


Monday 23 January 2017

Hildegard Koch: forgotten.

Koch, Hildegard 
(1871 – after 1921 before 1930 ?)
Dresden painter and printmaker

I have to make corrections on this posting within 24 hours. The print described was not created by Hildegard Koch. The research however unexpectedly lead to the proper artist. Please see next posting on Wilhelm Koch. 
Hildegard Koch lived and worked in Dresden and (1898 - ?)  in Kipsdorf-im-Erzgebirge (20 km. south of Dresden) in the "Erzgebirge (Ore-mauntains). I have no proof source to where she was born. She is not mentioned in any of the artists lexicons.  

She had also been a member of the "Verein der Berliner Künstlerinnen" 1898-1916 and exhibited with the VdBK 1898, 1901, suggesting she may have studied in Berlin. This painting and the postcard below are the only examples of her work I as able to find. 

Later we find her also a member of “Gruppe der Dresdner Künstlerinnen”, around 1904, and exhibiting in 1908 in “Galerie Arnold” with Doris am Ende (1857-1944), Clotilde Schilling (1858-1934), Bertha Schrader (1845-1920) and Lina von Zieten (?) and others. Please help to identify this last artist ! 

Hildegard Koch is not graphically known by any woodblock print. This print surfaced in German Ebay last month showing a winter landscape and a twin towered “Kreuzkirche” possibly somewhere south of Dresden, in the Ore Mountains region (“Erz-gebirge”), possibly around Dresden. It would be nice to identify the church and its town. Reading the signature "Hilf." I wrongly assumed it could be made by her. It's not, but the print has lead me to her surprising adres in Dresden and more surprisingly to her printmaking colleagues and even neighbors. This mistake (wrong path of investigation) shows how little we know of the lives of so many wonderful artists. 
I am not ashamed to prove myself wrong. It is an accepted way of research when open for criticism and fresh ideas (thank you Wolfgang in Frankfurt for you help and suggestions).     

In Dresden Hildegard Koch lived in 1921 at Ostbahnstrasse 1, in a street were artist liked to have a studio because of North facing windows: at nr. 2 lived Elisabeth Andrae (1876-1945) and Erna Ottillie Bercht (1881-1966) while Clothilde Schilling (1858-1934) lived at nr. 16. Printmaking ladies whom we've met met before.

Ostbahnstrasse Dresden

Dresslers KHB 1921: Dresden, Ostbahnstrasse 1. Member VdK.
Dresslers KHB 1930: not mentioned, suggesting she stopped living 1921-1930.

Post card made by Hildegard Koch in Kipsdorf  

Hildegard Koch today is a largely forgotten artist. These are the only facts and examples of her art I was able to scratch together. But slowly pieces of the historic puzzle in artistic Dresden begin to form pictures: follow the labels: Andrea, Schilling, Schrader.        

Do send corrections and additions for sharing and help me in my research into early German woodblock printmaking by woman artists born 1850-1900. 

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

Sunday 22 January 2017

Ninon Soyer, printmaker

Ninon Soyer 
Helga Marxmüller
(printmaker, author and mycologist) 

Beetle on gras by Kono Bairei (1844-1895)
I stumbled over this print, with an obvious wink to Japan, in the internet. A quick survey on the artist revealed what is shared here. She is not mentioned in any of the Artist Lexicons and mentioned, possibly living (2016) in Munich. 

An educated guess is she's the daughter of painter and graphic artists Anton Marxmüller (1898-1984) and was taught by her father while he was a professor in Munich (above). As an artist she uses the (French) pseudonym Ninon Soyer, as an author and botanist Helga Marxmüller.  

Otto Laible: drawing class.
Painter Otto Laible (1898-1962), professor (1949/58) in Karlsruhe academy was another teacher of Helga Marxmuller. Maybe the daughter of his Munich colleague is in this class somewhere.  

Her name can be found in connection (author and illustrations) with mushrooms (mycology), suggesting she is/was working as or was trained a botanist.

Please send other examples an biographical facts on this nice artist for sharing. 


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

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Miss Rosa Paul: a forgotten Martha Cunz student

Thanks to reader Wolfgang I was informed about an exhibition held in Sankt-Gallen (Sw.) "Historisches und Völkerkundemuseum" (historical and ethnographic museum): "Faszination Farbholzschnitt" around St. Gallen's most famous woodcut artist Martha Cunz. It runs until march 2017 and there's a catalogue raisonné on her work published by it's enthousiast director and author Dr. Daniel Studer.  

Martha Cunz (1876-1961) is known to have been a teacher to many printmaking artists, and in the exhibition there are 4 examples of prints by one particularly talented student: "Fraulein R. Paul". 

Schweinfurt, Roßmarkt by Rosa Paul.  

Miss Paul visited to study with Martha Cunz in St. Gallen in 1908 and in 1909 and left these 4 examples of her efforts in the collections and archives of her teacher. I've never seen any prints by her on the market and she is not mentioned in any of the artists lexicons: she seems to have disappeared from the records after 1909.

Weißkohl Markt (after 1907 !) 
But I had a hunch the market scene may be a clue to where miss Paul originated from. Wolfgang suggested "somewhere North of the Alps" so possibly Bavaria (Bayern) ? The very specific watchtower ("Wachturm") and market ("Marktplatz") might be one day recognized by an attentive reader, he suggested. 

Roßmarkt, Rosa Paul may have lived in one of these houses. In the background the fire watch
Looking down from the Fire Watch Tower towards Roßmarkt 

The truth is this wonderful medieval scene (the watch tower  actually is the "Feuerwehrturm" (fire watch) build or renewed in 1907 so shortly before she travelled to Martha Cunz Switzerland) was destroyed by allied bombing: it is Roßmarkt in Schweinfurt on river Main, right in the heart of Germany, 60 km, east of Frankfurt. The damaged watch was demolished in the 1950's.

Rosa Paul is mentioned (M. "Malerin" - painter) living Roßmarkt 1 in my copies of Dresslers Kunsthandbuch 1921 and 1930. But she's left no traces in the Internet nor  in any artist lexicon. Food for local historians, but a new name in my "German Women Printmakers Lexicon".    

Turkeys, (Truthahn) by Rosa Paul 

and by Cläre Neuhaus (1882 - 1932?) and Walter Klemm

Since Rosa Paul's prints are true examples of "early" printmaking (before 1910 when Orlik was busy teaching in Berlin, Klemm and Thiemann in Dachau and Martha Cunz in Sankt Gallen) I'll show them with some examples by other early printmaking icons.  

Rosa Paul 

Duck prints by Helene Grande-Tüpke (1871-1946) 

Spring meadow: Rosa Paul 

 Hedwig Matthiessen (1879- after 1930).

Please send information concerning miss Rosa Paul (apparently she stayed unmarried) living and working in Schweinfurt (1910-1930). 
All new information on this unknown artist will be shared in this Blog. Research "on the spot" is already promised.........  


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

Prints by Rosa Paul shown thanks to Wolfgang Barina in Frankfurt who took photographs at the exhibition in St-Gallen this week. 
Courtesy ("mit Genehmigung") of Dr. Daniel Studer, St.Gallen.  

Sunday 15 January 2017

William Baillie: How did he do it ?

Jan van Goyen 

"Gesicht op Alphen by Leyden"

was one of Hollands great Golden Age landscape painters. And an equally great drawer. Famous in their own time paintings and drawings were sold and collected all over Europe by the important and the wealthy: Rembrandt, Pieter Molyn, Jan de Bisschop, the Ruisdael brothers, Paulus Potter, Adriaen van Ostade and many other great drawers of the Dutch landscape. 

Market in a Duch village near a river. 
Many of van Goyens landscape drawings I learned are kept in the collections of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum (follow the link here*) and available for viewing on line.

Some details showing the markings left by the instruments ("Roulettes") to simulate pencil drawing:

Although it looks every bit a pencil drawing this: "View on Alphen near Leyden",  however is not a drawing but an engraved copy I found recently in a charity shop. It was created by Irish engraver William Baillie (1723-1810) who besides his military career was an eminent amateur artist. Baillie was hired by the Duke of Bute, John Stuart  (1713-1792), Prime Minisister of Great Britain 1762/63 to create engraved copies of works in his art collection. 

Jan van Goyen: view on Leyden
Stuart had studied in Leiden, the obvious place to have been aquainted with van Goyens paintings and drawings and possibly the place where he bought his drawing "view on Alphen near Leyden". After his political career Stuart later became a patron of the arts. 

Baillie is also known to have owned several original Rembrandt (1606-1669) etching plates. He reworked the worn out plates and, not to every ones taste altered Rembrandt's composition of the "three trees on a hill" print by adding clouds and lightning. He'd better not. 

 Three trees: Rembrandt and Baillie 

Obviously he owned Rembrandt's plate of the famous traveling elephant Hansken too.   
Hansken: Rembrandt and Baillie

I could not find van Goyens original drawing "View on Alphen near Leyden" and I cannot say it has survived, one of Stuarts homes suffered from fire. But comparing it with others in the Rijksmuseum it is amazing to learn Baillie was able to create an engraved copy that with the naked eye is hardly distinctable from any actual washed and "soft" pencil drawings by van Goyen or any other artist. 

Baillies copy of Stuarts drawing by Pieter Molyn (1595-1668)

Invented in Britain, in the late 17the century, "Mezzotint" engraving grew into a craze during the 18th century used to copy entire collections of Old Masters paintings, portraits etc.. It was also called the "Black Art", starting with a black plate, rubbing in the lighter parts with instruments called "Roulettes".  

The duke of Devonshire hired Baillie's colleague engraver Richard Earlom (1743-1822) to copy his art collection including his many paintings by Claude Loraine (1602-1682) (below). Loraine was William Turners' (1775-1851) inspiration, read here*). 

Studying drawings by van Goyen I noticed he was intrigued by the artistic possibilities of depicting the mechanical tackling device called in Dutch a "Putmik" or "Puthaal" (English  .....?) used for hauling water buckets or freight. The strong diagonals of the contraption breaking the horizontal and vertical  landscape composition attracting strongly the eye and leading through the composition. He used it often: when shipsails or yards were not available.   

Here are some examples of this device that was in use in rural areas into the 20th century.

Cornelis Dusart (1660-1704) after Adriaen van Ostade (1610-1685). 
Dusart used van Ostades studio in Haarlem after his death. 

All pictures embiggen by mouse click

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