Sunday, 12 May 2019

Emile René Menard: intimiste

With this vintage postcard I thought to have found a nice copy of a perhaps lost painting. Since the day I found it I presumed it to be "Pomona" the goddess of fruitful abundance and protectress of gardens, harvest and fruits. I was probably blinded by the divine buttocks and jumping to conclusions I completely missed the point: there aren't any fruits ! 

Pomona was also the name of a "Reform" shop, selling bio-organic fruits and vegetables, healthy oils, brown cane sugar, nuts, "Protifar" (protein supplement) and the original Swiss Bircher Müesli of my youth in the Dutch city of Amersfoort in the 1950-60's. It was run by a friendly elderly (in my memory) Jewish (I think they were ) couple with the family name of Tobias. They were somehow related to my stepfather. It's too late to ask. 
Follow the label to an earlier article with Bircher Müesli and printmaker Margarete Donath. 

The goddess Pomona is usually associated and depicted with fruits, usually an apple or apples and she has been the subject of paintings and sculptures since ancient times. This example by an unknown artist telling the myth of Pomona being seduced (all mythical women were seducable and seduced by the gods) by Vetrumnis. 

Sculptor Aristide Maillol (if you happen to be in Paris visiting his charming museum is an absolute must) was also was intrigued by the goddess Pomona: he created several versions: in the nude and draped, with arms lowered and with arms stretched. Copies are kept and displayed in collections and museums all over the world: in Paris, Philadelphia, Amsterdam, Moscow etc.. and this version, with arms outstretched, is in Prague. I'll inform you about Maillol's  gorgeous model in a minute.

My Pomona however does not seem to be involved with fruits or apples although the artist did relate her posture to holding or inspecting some branches above her head. Maybe it was to emphasize "certain parts" of her beautiful body, I mean, when wearing high heels would be not an obvious or logic choice, standing in a field, being naked and obviously being invited to model in a pastoral landscape. 

The solution to the question "what is it ?", came to me recently: it is a copy of another version of (a detail of) a lithographic print by Emile René Menard (1862-1930) a French academic painter. Another version (in red chalk) is kept in the London British Museum. The detail, above right(now with fruits !) is from the original print below:   

His lithographic drawing "Automne" was published in the first album of the illustre editions of Estampe Moderne in 1897. 

The main figure is reaching and inspecting the fruit (oranges ?) and the title "Automne" is   referring to ripe fruit and harvest. Possibly Menard choose the title to avoid naming and explaining the relation with an annoyingly bored looking second figure.
My personal opinion is that it would have been wiser to dismiss the competing for attention  damsel on the left. It takes the attention from the gravitational centre of the original composition (the buttocks !).  I suppose Menard has wrongly added the bored "cousin" to balance his composition. He shouldn't have, as my photoshopped version proves: much, much better, I'ld say: near perfect.  

PS: I'ld love to find an affordable copy of the original print for my collection and to exhibit this story in the book. Offers welcomed. 

The best  description I found describing Menard he was an "intimist", a painter of intimate situations...... He'd studied under William Bougereau and was friends with Gustave Courbet and Lucien Simon. In this painting, composition-wise, he was smart not to disturb the centre of gravity (where the eyes come to rest) which im(not so)ho, is the classic updone red hair of the model.

Emile René Menard 
In his time Menard was famous and appreciated and commercially very successful for his "Italian" panoramic landscapes often with dramatic skies and often depicting a bathing women (a good reason to be undressed after all and suggestive of a mythical (non erotic) background. It is known he travelled to the Mediterranean regularly. 

Arisitide Maillol 
I suppose Aristide Maillol (1861-1944) must have been acquainted with Menards work while I think Menard would not have known about Maillol's model and muse Dina Vierny (1919-2009) who with her bequest, became the founder of Maillols museum. So what follows is probably co-incidental, chance, fiction and purely hypothetical. But also too good not to mention and share. 

This photo proofs the natural beauty of Maillols model Dina who was just 15 when Maillol "discovered her" and why she became his favorite model for so many of his sculptural master pieces.  

And then I found this 1937 photograph by photographer Pierre Jamet (1910-2000) of Dina in a posture (arms raised) that could have inspired Menard for his "Automne", or my Pomona, had he not been dead for 7 years in 1937. Maillol however had still 7 years of creativity ahead of him in which he would create many master-pieces with Dina.  


Maillol did several versions of a sculpture "Nue debout coiffant" (standing nude doing her hair). I have no idea if the old man was present sketching during this summery hozing of Dina (in Villeneuve sûr Auvers, not far from Paris) but I can imagine he was and created this drawing.      

With the possibilities of the modern internet Dina's classic beauty immortalised by Maillol can be admired 360C., almost in 3D, combining the hundreds  of good pictures from all over the world taken from every angle.  But these will do here. 

Dina also modelled for Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse and I think it could be Dina in here also, doing her hair. 


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

Friday, 10 May 2019

Truus Braster: all roads leading to .......

Today I'ld like to share an account of the events following my yesterdays "doing me rounds".

Truus (Geertruida) Braster
(Nijmegen 22-06-1921 – 07-05-2018 Grou) 
 Selftaught hand weaver. 

(please send any biographic and/or genealogic specifics) 

"Landschap 1992"                    "Kalkar 1991"

This posting started yesterday with the discovery of 5 "items of interest" at a befriended local used-goods and vintage & industrial design furniture dealer who occasionally does house clearings. It happened to be 5 pieces of “tweed” carefully matted, all with titles and dated in handwriting on the back around 1991.

"Summer 1991"                          "Winter 1991" 

After completing my “rounds” on the bike, and doing my research the "items"  turned out to be hand woven “landscape art” by one T. Braster. It was not difficult finding the link between my recent acquisitions and the artist who had lived not far away from where we live, for the last 50 years and had passed away to meet her maker exactly (to the day !) one year ago. 

"Oranjewoud 1990" 

Besides her obituary (she died last year, reaching the aged of 97 in the nearby village of Grou) there’s a local newspaper interview dated several years back in which she explains what her art was about. As a self taught hand weaver she had held a fascination and had become inspired by the geometry in the landscapes she saw, translating the patterns and lines into the fabric created in her loom. Created by an 80 year old: they must be the result of a lifetime of loving observation and skill this posting is also kind of a tribute.   

We both like them very much, so after clearing a perfect spot on a wall they will continue to be cared for and treasured.    

She had been married to Jaap (Jacob) van der Meij (Amsterdam 1923–1999 Spain), sculptor, painter and monumental artist who is buried in Hollum -Ameland. He'd studied at the academy in Amsterdam under Heinrich Campendonk (1889-1957), once a member of “der Blaue Reiter” and friends with Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc he'd fled the Nazi regime and taught monumental art in Amsterdam since 1935. 

Campendonck had also been the teacher of Max Reneman(1923-1978), a painter and sculptor but also a dentist who died in a plain crash near Sicily in 1978. 1878 was the  year I graduated as a young dentist and started my professional career on the island of Ameland. Reneman was, when he died tragically young one of the international icons of prosthodontics, the practise, study and theory of dynamics in full dentures in Amsterdam. Along his professional line of research also worked his colleague and close friend prof. Guus Flögel( b. 1925) who happened to be my prosthodontics professor in Utrecht. They revolutionized the world of prosthodontics getting much attention (and probably funds for much needed research) combining research and practise with humour and art.

In their wake followed prof. Warner Kalk( b. 1945) becoming one of the worlds most influential, leading and awarded prosthodontists. He acted as the head of the Dentistry department and professor of Oral Function in Groningen University when I came to work for and with in 2001, training students and also involved in prosthodontics.   

For Frisians, van der Meij’s most capturing work is probably the monumental (really huge) concrete statue of 3 impressive "giants" near the city of Dokkum. On a clear day they could easily view their makers ancestral island of Ameland on the horizon. Jaap van der Meij’s roots lay on the island of Ameland. His ancestors have lived and loved for generations on the island: sea captains, fishermen, wheelmakers and peasants. He was laid to rest among his ancestors.

The obituary of Truus Braster mentions very few people. Becoming so old and having no children (I think, although Jacobs grave monument may suggest otherwise) most people met in their lifetime will have “gone before”. But her friend Jentsje Popma(b. Zwolle 1921 and also nearing 100) a contemporary Frisian painter born in the same year as Truus Braster, was.  

Two examples of Popma's paintings:
the dikes  guarding Friesland and its islands against the North-sea  

Popma had  studied in the Academies of Rotterdam and Amsterdam earning the Cohen Gosschalk price in 1946 as (most) promising student, and then studied painting at Groningen Academie Minerva. He followed a career as glazer en sculptor before he took up a career in painting in the late 1980’s (after the age of retirement: artists never retire) becoming probably Friesland’s most celebrated contemporary landscape painter. 

All roads leading to ..........

all pictures embiggen by mouse-click


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

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Hildegard Eichwede: Hamburg Uhlenhorst Gaswerke

Hildegard Eichwede 
(prob. b. Hannover ar.1880 ? - ?) 
(painter,  printmaker)
"Hamburg Barmbek  
Uhlenhorst Gaswerke"

Hildegard Eichwede (Barmbek Gaswerke in Hamburg) 

This print is being offered in the respected Frankfurt Gallerie Joseph Fach, known for its remarkable collection of very fine prints. The price of € 1250 is suggesting it is of extreme quality and/or importance, which it possibly is. It came to my knowledge some time ago and I tried to find out more about this print + the artist. Would I have it to my collection of German women printmakers ? Yes of course. But I'm not a masochist believing it ever will, just cannot afford. I suggest this print should be in the collections of the Hamburgs Kunsthalle. Unobtainable as it may be the most interesting part for me and my research is the artist being completely unknown. She is not known by any other work nor is there any biographic link to be found. Sadly Hildegard has not left a clue or a date on her print. The Barmbek Gaswerke were in function from the 1870's until the 1960's.  I suggest it was created around 1910.   

It reminded me technically (probably by the use of mainly gray and the similar  perspective, and probably because it was created by an artist related with Hamburg) of Agnes Salomon's Brussels Boulevard Vaugirard print (see posting here* ) or follow the label attached to this posting. For a long time Agnes graphic history consisted of just one print, untill my research disclosed a second one. Agnes probably gave up her artistic career after marriage and dedicated her life to motherhood. Could this hint at a shared faith (motherhood), could their prints point to at a mutual teacher ? And who would/could that possibly be ?. We know Agnes attended Munich graphic classes and also went to Paris and although I have a suggestion I will keep the name for later or to the serious researcher who may stumble over this posting and offers to help to identify Hildegard Eichwede.     

Agnes Salomon: Boulevard Vaugirard.

Besides, we peddled the Barmbek canal that is joined to the Alster basin visiting our son Paul and his Anne Maartje who are living and working nearby in this great city. Today hardly anything is reminding of this site once so important to the people and industries of Hamburg. The whole area is turned into very green and pleasant to live in communities.   

Hildegard Eichwede no doubt will prove to be a member of the Eichwede family from Hannover. Descending from the co-founder and later owners of the famous Bernstorff & Eichwede "Hoffbronze-giesserei" which existed until 1873 before it was taken over: Friedrich Wilhelm Eichwede (sometimes mentioned Ferdinand) (1791-1822) who was born in Berlin but married the daughter of Hannover Johann Friedrich Bernstorff (1766-1809) the original founding father, and started the Hannover Eichwede dynasty. 

I tried to tie Hildegard to this family but so far I did not succeed. Here's what I did find out in a nutshell. Hopefully a reader (who now must pass the despicable Google Warning System for which I feel deeply embarrassed and offer my sincere apologies)  will come to aid. 

Friedrich was succeeded as director by his son Wilhelm Christian Eduard Eichwede (1818-1890) but with him the connection to the next generation  of Hannover family members came to a halt. I did not find the name of his wife, nor of any brothers or sisters. 

He is probably the father of more then one son because from the mid 1800's  a Heinrich, Eduard and Ernst Eichwede all from Hannover can be found holding several industrial patents.

The most promising link might be to the family of Hannover architect Christian Hubert Julius Eichwede (1853-1936) who was the father of an important but short lived Hannover architect Ferdinand Eichwede (1878-1909) who was the father of concert pianist Ingrid Eichwede (b. 1905) married to Jewish composer Hans Heller (captured, and later killed, in Paris 1940 by the occupying Germans). After hiding she managed to escape with their son Peter (1929-2002) to America, Peter was also a painter. 


And then there's the history of artist Gisela Lusser-Sautter (Posen 1914 - after 2009). Read the interview following the link.

In an interview she told of receiving painting lessons from “her mother and her sister Tante Marie Eichwede (Posen 1875-1944) who were both painters". She appeared to be the daughter of Dr. Julius Sautter(b. 1878 - after 1939). Could her mother have been  Hildegard Eichwede ? Dr. Julius Sautter is mentioned as  “Oberlandesgerichtsrat” a judge in the town of Celle (1923-1939) and relieved from his duties because of not being co-operative enough (not a faithful German) with the Nazi regime.  Celle is situated just some 20km. north-east of Hannover. 

In 1948 Gisela married Ir. Robert Lusser (1899-1969) a famous inventor and engineer who lost his first wife in allied bombing of their house that may have been directly aimed at him. See his interesting Wikipedia entry here*

Marie Eichwede (1875-1944) is mentioned as "Malerin" (painter) in Dresslers Kunsthandbuch 1921 living in Hannover and likewise in 1930 but also mentioned as "Kunstgewerblerin" (Arts & Crafts artist). 

All clues and information about "who was and what happened to Hildegard Eichwede" are very much welcomed and will be treated with all respect.


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

This extraordinary print is for sale at Gallerie Joseph Fach Frankfurt 

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Linosaurus ALMOST extinct


Linosaurus almost extinct

I am confused, pleasantly surprised and humbled by the many supporting emails and comments I received (and still am receiving) after writing the obituary for the Linosaurus blog. Thank you. 

Although still extremely disappointed and annoyed by such ignorance and arrogance I also noticed: a great many readers obviously took the hurdle of the "Beware this site with objectionable contents" button installed by an anonymous and coward reader who did not have the guts to address to me personally and tell me wat his/hers problem were. A policy Google suggests btw. but obviously does not follow up.  

After multiple requests to please not to delete old posts, I of course decided not to take the Blogs contents "down". Directly.  

I have invested 10 years of my life in this Blog as in both books describing my  exceptional collection of prints (richly illustrations and with comments) as well as the second book containing the many hundreds of short biographies dedicated to the obscured German (speaking) women woodblock printmaking artist (were born in the 19th century) and the connections with their teachers, academies, galleries, colleagues and friends accompanied by their Baltic, Scandinavian, Dutch, Hungarian and Russian sisters and colleagues.

Besides I thin I need this platform in the near future to announce the publication for those most interested, the Blog readers. Even if I put it to rest for a while recovering from yesterdays silly, shameful and painful events.

Thank you for your sympathy and support.           

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Linosaurus extinct

First and most of all I apologise for any inconvenience your visit to this humble Art Blog may recently have caused now it has been degraded by Google Law to the levels of visiting a porn site.

What has happened ?

Obviously some sad and frustrated individual has complained about the contents of this Blog. It happened shortly after showing a picture of an Arts & Crafts woodcarving that has since long been in my possession: mating storks that thanks to Google are now considered "pictures of a certain, inappropriate, objectional and explicit nature".

The mating storks symbolise the coming of spring and new life. 

(in many civilised and freed communities, liberated of stupid dogmas and blind puritanism)

In almost 10 years the Blog existed it saw over 900.000 page-views from all parts of the Planet. I was looking forward too greet the one Million'th visitor. Maintaining a blog about art, aesthetics and beauty I've never seen or heard any (not one) complaint. It received thousands of friendly and thankful comments and emails. And not to forget: through Blogging I made some dear and life time friends.   

So please allow me to correct and update the picture that probably was the cause of this situation. I think complaints based on puritan and backward standards like here, are even laughed at in the caliphate. Storks also mate and are welcomed as bringers of spring even deep in Syria and Irak.  

To be honest: I really do not understand Googles "policy": there has never been a complaint, no consultation, no message or notice of any kind. Whatso-ever. Nor does Google offer an opportunity to inquire, of hearing the other side, of explaining or ask for a revision. It simply stigmatizes with the click of  a button.   

Co-incidance ? This morning newspaper cartoon 
After some serious thoughts and considerations I decided the time has come to close the Blog and stop it. How can I be related to the "dirty pictures and obscene websites" Google has now associated me with. For my family, my granddaughters who now must ask permission and consent from their parents to see what "Opa" (granddad) may have shared and written. Besides, thanks to Googles' "Policy and Warning" visitor numbers seem to have almost come to a halt recently. So why bother to continue ? 

Those that count will know how to reach me. The research and the planned publications will continue of course. I plan to remove all (650) postings from the Internet in coming weeks beginning with the oldest. Allowing some time if there's anything you might want to look up or save.      

Thank you for all your support, all send information about forgotten and obscured painters and printmakers and all dear comments left on the postings. It has been a great journey and experience. 

So long, all the best !

Monday, 22 April 2019

Suiseki or the Japanese art of stone appreciation

Suiseki  水石

Sansui Keiseki

The meaning of appreciating a landscape shaped stone.

"It is not a silly thing at all to enjoy a stone in a tray. I see the whole world in a tiny stone. Some objects in this world are huge, and others are small, and they come in all shapes, but they are not that different when you look at their essence" (Hideo Marushima (b. 1934 -).

New Home for a million year old stone.
(with a natural image resembling a pine tree on a hill or mountain)

When I found this mysterious almost 3 Kg. green and orange stone (18 x 15 x 10 cm) with a flat bottom this morning in car boot who would have thought I would that same day be reading and learning about Japanese Empress Suiko who lived and reigned AD. 554-826 who received objects like this as precious gifts from Chinese visiting rulers: naturally formed stones resembling landscapes (or animals). 

And that i would read about Jade, because that is what the stone is made of: nephrite or jadeite: Ca2(Mg,Fe)52 and about Japanese culture and about Zen. The specifique colours and structure of the stone probably make it possible to pin point its origin. It can be seen the stone has been carefully preserved: small natural cracks or veins (impurities ?) have been filled with a perfectly matching orange substance only visible with a magnifying glass.   

Since Empress Suiko's times landscapes stones have been assimilated in Japanese culture: Bonzai stones, philosophers stones. Placed in a bowl of water, or in a pottery bowl filled with sand, or resting in an individually carved wooden "daiza" which is a special and honourable Japanese arts & crafts profession.

It would go too far and beyond the intention of this humble Blog to publish an essay on Suiseki history or on daiza carving. The interested reader or visitor can find all what there is to know in the Internet. All about this mysterious and simple world of

 enjoying what was already there. 

Which is of of course: the perfect synonym for:

How did this ancient stone travel from Japan (Korea or China) to the Netherlands? Where did stay and rest and with whom? Who appreciated it probably many generations before our times? Which river polished it for probably hundreds of thousands of years rolling it slowly towards the ocean? Who picked it up and where is its Daiza (companion pedestal)? Did I find the stone or did the stone find me 

Obviously the stone already woke the philosopher in me. 

If you think you may have an answer to one of the above questions: please email.


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


Friday, 19 April 2019

Happy Easter

Happy Easter and Greetings 
from Friesland

"Different" woodblock by unknown Frisian artist with monogram 
(or possibly Sj.H.) 

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Alice Muntell ?

Alice Muntell (poss. Munsell) ?

This small (12 x 15 cm.) lithographically printed red pencil or red chalk drawing of a reading women in Victorian dress, comfortably propped up by several pillows, was recently found as local car boot loot. No TV, no cell phone, no "social media" (I fail to understand the meaning of the word" social" in this context, creating obviously rather anti-social behaviour in recent generations). 

It was printed on older (18-19th century) paper (there's a regular grid visible) and in the margin someone scribbled a name. A nice drawing, and a nice puzzle.   

All help to identify the (supposedly) artist (the name mentioned could of course also refer to the sitter), would be very welcomed.