These two etchings by Helene Ady, dated 1912 & 1913, are probably the only proof of her work delivered to us. She is known to have been a goldsmith by profession but was also acquainted with, and possibly studied under, Berlin painter Ludwig Dettmann (1865-1944) who is known to have taught Berlin godmother of printmaking Helene Mass. Detmann also taught at Berlin VdBK “Mal und Zeichenschule”. Helene Ady is not mentioned as a member of this association.
She can be traced through Berlin’s address books between 1900 and 1926 living in several addresses. Where exactly Helene saw and sketched her big cats is not certain, probably in Berlin “Tiergarten” (Zoo). But it could also be in any other Zoo. They immediately remind of Ludwig Jungnickel’s renderings of surprisingly similar compositions of two tigers and two leopards.
Helene’s spectacular big cat etchings must compared to the highly collectable ans sought-after prints created by printmaker Ludwig Jungnickel (1881-1965). The first duo (leopards) seem very similar to the animals depicted in Helene Ady’s print and are dated 1905/06 and said to have been created with the “Chablonen-spritz” technique, so technically not created with wood or linoleum blocks. These animals probably were seen in Vienna “Schlossgarten Tiergarten” (Zoo) and today are considered icons of Modern Printmaking.