The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 3, 2016

November 3, 1889

A Museum Of Modern Art article reminds us who was Heinrich Campendonk (November 3, 1889 to May 9, 1957).

Painter, printmaker, stained-glass designer. First gained prominence within the Blaue Reiter circle, which he entered in 1911; showed three of his paintings in their first exhibition that year. Became known for his lyrical, sometimes fairy tale–like works envisioning a mystical harmony among animals, the untamed landscape, and man. Took inspiration in particular from Franz Marc’s animal subject matter and prismatic forms and colors, as well as from Bavarian folk art. Drafted in 1915; discharged due to poor health, he isolated himself in rural Seeshaupt in Bavaria. After war, gradually abandoned oil painting and worked instead on stained glass and decorative murals.

Began making prints in 1912, with encouragement from Herwarth Walden, whose Galerie Der Sturm promoted the Blaue Reiter artists. Made a total of seventy-seven prints, all black-and-white woodcuts, approximately one-third of them from 1916 to 1917, when woodcut was a major preoccupation for him. Many published in Der Sturm, Das Holzschnittbuch, and Die Schaffenden, the latter two by Paul Westheim.

Taught at various art schools from 1922–33, when Nazis fired him from the Düsseldorf Academy. Eighty-seven works were confiscated from public collections. Emigrated to Belgium in 1934, then to Amsterdam the following year. Took Dutch citizenship in 1951.

LACMA has this Campendonk, a colored woodcut, titled "Am Tisch sitzende Frau mit Katze und Fisch" (Woman at Table with a Cat and a Fish).

"Red Picture with Horses" by Heinrich Campendonk, below, sold at auction for $3.6 million in 2006 .

"Red Picture with Horses""was later determined to be actually the work of forger Wolfgang Beltracchi. THAT story is told by Vanity Fair, and a good read it is.

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