Friday, February 22, 2013

Bittersweet beauty: an etching by Eduard Einschlag

The elegant turn-of-the-century lady, dressed in the height of fashion, has a sad story to tell. Although this is just speculation on my part, I believe the model is Louise Victoria Einschlag, the wife of the artist Eduard David Einschlag, whose signature is etched in the plate top right, along with the date '03. The etching was published the following year by the Leipzig art revue Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst.


Eduard David Einschlag, Damenbildnis
Etching with aquatint, 1903

Eduard David Einschlag was born in Leipzig in 1879, into a Jewish family. He studied at the fine art Academies of Leipzig, Munich (where he learned etching from Peter Halm), and Berlin, returning to Leipzig to live and work in 1910. Eduard Einschlag is known for his paintings and for his masterly etchings in a post-Impressionist style. In 1938 Eduard and Louise Victoria Einschlag were deported by the Nazis, and both were murdered at the Treblinka extermination camp, sometime around 1942.

7 comments:

Jane Librizzi said...

I can't be sure whether I 'm reading something into this image but it seems quite personal - as though the artist knew the woman, rather than employing a model. She appears more individual and less of a type, it looks to me. I wonder how you came upon this piece?

Neil said...

I'll be very interested if I can find out whether my surmise that the model is Einschlag's wife is true. It was based initially on simple gut feeling - there's something intimate and tender about the image, I feel. But I did manage to find other examples of Einschlag etchings online that seem to show the same model, suggesting at least some kind of longterm relationship. This is the only one of his I've actually handled. It's one of the original prints published by Zeitschrift für Bildende Kunst in 1904. I'll probably post some other prints from this interesting journal in the run-up to the Great War in coming weeks.

Atelier Conti said...

I had to enlarge the image to really see what a lovely etching this is...such a pretty face and I love everything about it, except of course the sad story!

Neil said...

Always a good idea to enlarge the image, Nancy, unless it's one of my wonkier photos - though actually, I preferred the enlargements in earlier days, against a white background. It is a sad story, but I suppose one interesting thing about it is that in those days, pre-WWI, Jewish artists were completely integrated into the German art world, and ditto for German Jews generally. I'm pretty sure France was a much more anti-Semitic environment than Germany at that time (and maybe now).

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Belinda Del Pesco said...

I agree with Jane - there's something familiar and intimate in this lovely piece. But oh, what a sad story. My heart aches to think of what they went through. Painful and sad as they're likely to be, I'm looking forward to your next posts on this time period.

Neil said...

Thanks, Belinda. I have quite a few posts lined up on art in Germany in the early years of the C20th - now I just have to find the time to write them!