Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Charlotte Popert: in Rome

Here's another wonderful forgotten artist that emerged from history along my research into the lives of pioneering printmaking German ladies. Although she was not involved in any woodblock printmaking to my knowledge she exhibited in Munich in 1904 with several well known woman printmakers. 

And although there're hardly any surviving examples of her work accesable I managed to dig up some. Help me by sending more examples of her work or their whereabouts . But most intriguing is the short biography I put together from (translated) scraps, bits and pieces, genealogical research etc.. that I 've included in my index.  

Among the few etchings is this great example of two traditional dressed Japanese women in a hair styling ritual. But in this years, in Germany, who  other then Emil Orlik will have been responsible for the choice or inspiration of her subject. If I only knew how .....

Orlik no doubt was also a source of inspiration for Erich Wolfsfeld (1884-1957) who also taught in the same Institute as Orlik but I will tell you about him later. He never travelled to Japan but rose to great fame later because of his North Africa trips and related paintings and etchings. But now I'm wandering of my track.  

Anyway: enjoy the following biography illustrated with some finds. 

Popert, Charlotte 
(Hamburg 01-03-1848 – 01-03-1918 Rome)

Jewish painter and graphic artist. Daughter of prosperous Hamburg leather merchant Joseph Meyer Popert (1797-1868) and Emma Vidal Rothschild (1811-1866). 

While living in Rome she was much appraised by Ludwig Pollack, director of “Museo Barracco di Scultura Antica” in Rome.

This Popert family (originating from the city of Boppard near Koblenz) was living in Hamburg since the early 18th century resulting in building and running a flourishing and well respected trade bank and becoming very, very wealthy. In the early 19th century the sons of banker Meyer Wolf Popert (1763-1812) were all successful in Hamburg trade and commerce while the bank eventually went bankrupt. Joseph’s brother, Charlotte's uncle, Wolf Meyer Popert (1795-1846) was a famous chess-player playing in London against the world’s finest players. Joseph, Charlotte’s father, learned the tanning business probably in Scandinavia.

Charlotte’s niece Anna Brinckmann (1846 – after 1903) married sculptor Joseph (von) Kopf (1827-1903 Rome). Anna Brinckmann’s mother Anna Theresa Popert was  Charlotte’s father sister. Their daughter, Martha Kopf (b. Rome 1870) married sculptor Hugo Berwald (1863-1937). He was the brother of William Henry Berwald (1864-1948) the composer.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor heinrich heine

Salomon Heine (1767-1844). His mother was Mathilde Martha Eva Popert (1739-1799), dr. of Meyer Samson Popert and Fromet Hekscher). Although also from a banking and trading family he came to Hamburg in 1784 pennyless and learned the banking business inside the Hamburg Popert bank. He grew immensely rich, earning his knickname “Rotschildt of Hamburg” and was a great philanthropist and patron to the arts to the city of Hamburg. He happened to be the uncle of Germany’s foremost poet Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), above, who was promoted by his uncle and by Joseph Meyer Popert, Charlotte’s father, who was also but more distantly related to the  Great Poet.    

Ludwig Pollak (Prague 14 September 1868, Prague – 1943 Auschwitz) was an Austro-Czech classical archaeologist, antiquities dealer, and director of the Museo Barracco di Scultura Antica in Rome. He is perhaps best known for discovering in 1906 the missing right arm of Laocoön in the famous ancient Roman sculpture Laocoön and his sons.

She studied in Weimar “Fürsterliche freien Zeichenschule” with painter etcher Friedrich Preller (the elder) (1804-1878). Then she studied in Düsseldorf, Paris and visiting Rome in 1778 meeting and falling in love with Ligurian painter Nicolò Barabino (1832-1891) with whom she travelled to London. After his death she settled in Rome in the 1890’s where she met and became close friends with John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) of whom she owned several painting and painter Pio Joris (1843-1922). 

Wealthy by birth she had build a tasteful villa at the “Lungotevere Arnolda da Brescia” what became a meeting place for artists. She travelled twice to Sardinia (1899 – 1900) and to the Isle of Capri (1896) staying at the villa of German painter Christian Wilhelm Allers (1857-1915). 

She was a meacenas to the arts and a philantrope to the sick and the poor and visited Queen consort Margaretha of Savoye (1851- 1926) who had been interested in a series (port folio) of etchings made after a trip to Sardinia. She created the etched portraits of both King Umberto-I of Savoye (1844-1900) and his wife. During WW1 she was forced to leave Italy (1915), her house, collections and work were seized and confiscated. 

She wrote an eye-whitness account (privatly published 1915 in Hamburg) of the misery of the war rufugees in East-Prussia. After the war ended she returned to Italy in 1918 staying in the studio of Pio Joris. It is said she died of a broken heart soon after in 1918. Part of her collections were assimilated in the collections of the National Opera in Rome.

Not known by woodblock prints but she is represented with 4 etching (among which are portraits of “Fürst Bismarck”, “Crispi” and “professor Joseph von Kopf” ) + the Sardinia port folio containing 10 etchings and a program with some 60 female and 85 male graphic artists in the important 1904 Catalog of etchings, engravings and lithographs (chiefly German but including work by Austrian, Swiss, Dutch and English artists)” by Reinhard Piper, Munich 


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

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Emma Kissling

In my ongoing research, composing the biographies of German women artists (born 1850-1900) involved in colour woodblock printmaking 1900-1940, I recently discovered Emma Kissing. Publishing the 300 biographies hopefully will lead to more understanding and more details on their lives, works and careers.  

Freytag-Kissling, Emma (? – 04-02-1913*)

Painter, graphic artist. Student in Munich of Lorenz Müller* (1868-1953). Married (1911-1912) professor Dr. Gustav Willibald Freytag (1876-1961) ophthalmologist and author. He was the son of Germany’s best read 19th centure writer and playright Gustav Freytag (1816-1895). 

* The suggested years of her marriage (between "Mlle" (miss) and her death) suggests she may have died in or after childbirth. Emma Kissing was Gustave Freytags  second wife. He remarried in 1929. 

Although not known by woodblock prints she is represented with 2 lithographic prints (with some 60 female and 85 male graphic artists) in the important 1904 Catalog of etchings, engavings and lithographs (chiefly German but including work by Austrian, Swiss, Dutch and English artists)” by Reinhard Piper, München.

As “Mlle (miss) Kissing” she created these great lithographic (deep-sea creatures) prints in the scientfique works: “Résultats des campagnes scient. accomplies sur le yacht Princess Alice de, Honoré Charles Grimaldi, Prince Albert I de Monaco (1848-1922)”: 1889/90 (Paul Kammerer) and 1901/1910 (1911 Eric Zugmayer). 

Prince Albert dedicated much of his life to oceanography. With his yacht Princess Alice he organized between 1896 and 1907 several expeditions, into the Mediterranean but also  to Spitsbergen, Svalbard and North of Norway.  

1905: She is mentioned in: “Ex libris: Buchkunst und angewandte Graphik”, Volumes 15-16.


* Müller, Lorenz (Mainz 1868 – 1953 Munich) was illustrator and since 1903 curator of Munich herpetological (reptile & and amphibian) department in the “Zoologischen Staatssammlung”. He studied extensively European reptiles and travelled to the Amazone 1909-1912.

1920: Antropologica 81, p.77: “Lorenz Müller in München, der ausgezeichnete Kenner und Künstler, und seine Schülerin Emma Kissling, spätere und dann allzu früh verstorbene Frau Prof. Dr. G. Freytag haben in uneigennütziger Weise die auf Tafel I — VIII vervielfältigten Eidechsenbilder gezeichnet und gemalt (welche Bilder von E. Kissling herrühren und welche von L. Muller, ist in der Tafelerklarung bemerkt).

Examples of these lithographic illustrations of lizards (Eidechsen), mentioned above, I could not find. 

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

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Gladys Hadkinson and Philippe Zilcken.

Curious by heart my attention to this etching wasn't drawn by the quality or subject, some leafless trees surrounding a pond with a fence. But it hung for several weeks in a local charity shop and reminded me of Philippe Zilcken (the Hague 1857-1930) a Dutch painter/etcher who was appreciated and well known around the turn of the century because of his skills as an etcher for his etched copies of very popular paintings by Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831-1915).

He was also known for his interest and travels in the Orient with his contemporary but much more famous and appreciated "Dutch Orientalist" Marius Bauer (the Hague 1867-1932) (below).

Zilcken's etchings, often unrecognized, can be regularly found in sales, car boots, charity shops etc.. Bauer's  work (with "Rembrandtesque" light) on the other hand is highly sought after and very collectable. (Follow the Label to read about my Bauer find or click here).   

The signature, after some serious puzzling reads G. Hadkinson and: '2  '16, probably indicating a "second state" print created in 1916. I thought there might be an interesting story in here somewhere. 

Googling, I found a mentioning of a correspondence in the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum (sadly not to be consulted by the public) between Ernestine Hadkinson (1863-1928) and Philippe Zilcken.  And also some works created by Gladys' younger sister Dorothy (1892-1958) are kept in "the Rijks".  

This Hadkinson family is mentioned living in Greece, Macedonia and Turkey. Ernestine Hadkinson-Seiffert was born in the Hague, Netherlands, her father was August Seiffert.  

Here's some genealogy maybe helping to solve the mystery concerning the maker. In here I found a G. for Gladys Hadkinson.  

Gladys Anna Eleanora Hadkinson was born in Kravolak in Macedonia-Vadar region in 1895 (although her birth was registered in 1918 by her grandfather at the British Consulate General in Saloniki in Greece: 23 years later !). 

Sadly Gladys Hadkinson died in Paris 1925 shortly after or during giving birth to a daughter: Sylvia Georgina Ruth Hadkinson (Paris 1925-2011 U.K.). I found her father Charles was a farmer in Macedonia and is mentioned as a RNVR (Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve) in the British army and is mentioned in publications with war-witness accounts. This particular corner of Europe (Balkan) has a violent past: wars, feuds and ethnic cleansing. 

Maybe Gladys travelled and settled in Paris to study further but she is not mentioned in any Artist Lexicon, dying so young of course, nor has she an artistic entry in the Internet. I suggest her mother Ernestine, one way or the other knew the etcher Zilcken (they were both from the Hague). Is it far fetched suggesting she possibly negotiated concerning etching or drawing lessons for her artistic daughter(s) ........ ?

Three Dutch etchers: Ph. Zilcken (1857-1930), Jan Veth (1864-1925) and Marius Bauer (1876-1932)
and a printing technician. 

Ernestine (Hadkinson) Seiffert died in Surabaya, Indonesia in 1928 so Gladys' parents probably divorced or separated earlier because her father Charles Hadkinson had two more children in Greece with a second wife in 1924 and 1925, he died in Alexandria Egypt 1942. Ernestine, probably well educated, wrote an article in an Amsterdam newspaper (de Groene Amsterdammer) in 1914 on Macedonia. 

I have no clue how this etching with an interesting family history ended up in my back-yard. It was donated to a local charity shop, its artistic and family ties and values long forgotten. 

Maybe this posting will be picked up by some-one interested in this particular Hadkinson family.  

All information and help is welcomed !

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 !