Emil Orlik (1870 - 1932)
Painter and printmaker Emil Orlik was born an Austrian citizen in Prague, then a provincial capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He studied with Heinrich Knirr, where his fellow students included Paul Klee. In 1891, he studied at the Munich Academy under Wilhelm Lindenschmit and Johann Leonhard Raab, with whom he learned printmaking, leading to wide-ranging experimentation with various printmaking processes, including woodcut. In 1898, Orlik traveled extensively throughout Europe, adapting and evolving his style in response to the artistic influences he encountered.
Orlik was fascinated by Japanese culture and art, ultimately spending a year there studying Japanese woodblock cutting and printing. His broad-gauged approach to art encompassed notable portraits, scenes of everyday life, and current events. He was commissioned to design color posters for the peace conference at Brest-Litovsk, which ended the conflict between Germany and Russia. In his later years, he studied and mastered photography, producing a series of iconic images of popular figures including Albert Einstein and Marlene Dietrich. Emil Orlik died in Berlin.
Theater Poster, 1897; 40" x 28" overall. Printed by A. Haase, Prague. Condition B+; repaired tears at edges, some into image; restored losses and overpainting in margins; repaired pin holes in corners. Rare.
The enduring popularity of Gerhart Hauptmann's play Die Weber drew talented artists into its orbit, including Emil Orlik, who created this poster in 1897. Upon first seeing the poster, Hauptmannwas so impressed that he invited Orlik to Berlin. Die Weber, Orlik's first theater poster, was the catalyst for his subsequent work in poster and set design. From 1903 until his death, Orlik taught at the Arts and Crafts Academy in Berlin, nevertheless maintaining an astonishing output of work that remains highly prized by collectors. This rare poster, connecting as it does three such outsized talents - Hauptmann, Orlik, and Käthe Kollwitz, who was so affected by an early performance of the play that she created the print cycle Die Weberaufstand in response - is a remarkable association piece.
Die Naherin (The Seamstress)
Color woodblock, 1900; edition not stated. Published by The Studio. Image size 6-1/8” x 6¼”; sheet size 7½” x 11-3/8”. Artist's monogram in block. Fine