Uncommon subject reminding of examples by Henri Toulouse Lautrec who was also fascinated by the world of circus . The melancholy of the scene, the posture of the ringmaster with high hat and umbrella is moving. The ringmaster (“spreekstalmeester” (Dutch-Belgian), “écuyer” (French), enjoyes the public, introduces the artists binding the different acts and is leading the show. In France he is called Monsieur Loyal.
Belgian (Antwerp) painter, graphic artist and from 1946 influential teacher at Antwerp Academy. Lost all his work in WW-II by German V-bombs (retaliation weapon) aimed at liberated Antwerp killing many citizens and destroying many (historical) buildings.
This etching was found “par hazard” amidst many other “paper work”: an intriguing, caricaturist, and expressionist circus drawing. Only after some serious puzzling the signature revealed the artist. “It is only after seeing when you see it…..”.
Besides his expressionist works is also known for his love for Pieter Breughel.
Hofmann, Ludwig von (Darmstadt 17-08-1861 – 23-08-1945 Berlin)
Painter, designer, graphic and printmaker. Son of Prussian statesman Karl von Hofmann (1827-1910) and Cora Kekulé von Stradonitz (1835–1897. His father served as Minister-president of the Grand Duchy of Hesse from 1872 to 1876 and was briefly Trade Minister in the cabinet of Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898. Their children:
• Sophie (b. 1860) ∞ zoologist Justus Carriere (1854-1893)
• Ludwig (1861–1945) ∞ Eleonore Kekulé von Stradonitz (b. 1876)
• Heinrich (1863–1921), “Generalleutnant” ∞ Freiin Asta von Grüter-Diepenbroik (1875–1940)
• Maria (b. 1865) ∞ Justus Thiersch (1859–1937), “Bezirksarzt”, son of surgeon Carl Thiersch (1822-1895)
• Cornelie (b. 1866) ∞ Max von Kaisenberg (1862–1916), “Oberstleutnant”.
He worked in a combination of the Art Nouveau and Symbolist styles. His work was part of the painting event in the art competition at the 1928 Summer Olympics.
Began his studies in 1883 at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, then studied with Ferdinand Keller (1842-1922) at the Academy of Fine Arts, Karlsruhe. In 1889, he attended the Académie Julian in Paris, where he came under the influence of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898) and Paul-Albert Besnard (1849-1934).
After 1890, he was a freelance painter in Berlin. From 1894 to 1900, he travelled extensively and spent a great deal of his time at his villa in Fiesole. His appreciation of antiquity and attraction to the idea of Arcadia permeates much of his work. After 1895, he was a regular contributor of illustrations for the Art Nouveau magazine Pan. In 1896, he became a member of the Berlin Secession and he was married in 1899. He was also a member of the Deutscher Künstlerbund
In 1903, he was appointed a Professor at the Weimar Saxon Grand Ducal Art School, where he became a member of the avant-garde literary and artistic group centred around Harry Graf Kessler (1868-1937). Jean Arp (1886-1936) and Ivo Hauptmann (1886-1973) were among his students. In 1916, he was named a Professor at the Academy in Dresden, where he remained until 1931. He also provided illustrations for a new translation of the Odyssey by philosopher Leopold Ziegler (1881-1958) and works by Gerhart Hauptmann (1882-1946) Ivo’s father.
His overall production slackened in the 1930s and, in 1937, some of his works were labeled as "degenerate art". He retired to Pillnitz, near Dresden, where he died in 1945. His remaining works were almost confiscated by the Russians after the war, but his widow managed to save them.
See: Hauptmann, Ivo
Read more about the artists, their lives, families and careers in the new and extensive Artist Lexicon: “DAS HAUS DER FRAU, the short biographies” accompanying this exhibition.
Hundreds of new artist biographies, a private publication in 2 Volumes written conveniently in English.
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