Paul Oscar Matthes, born in Königsberg (Kaliningrad) was a graphic artist who settled in the Netherlands around 1902, started his family and moved to Switzerland a decade later. He must have been a prolific (and popular) artist because 100 years later his etchings, Dutch and German landscapes and city-views, (Germ. “Veduten”) still show up regularly in auctions and flea markets. His work betrays the influence of well known the Hague etcher and etching teacher Philippe Zilcken.
Matthes is a neglected, forgotten and under appreciated etcher, probably also because of his early departure from the Netherlands. Particularly his Dutch landscapes, with canals, trees and traditional sailing ships excel in technical and artistic quality. They also show his admiration for Rembrandt’s landscape etchings.