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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Gabriel von Max

Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max (1840-1915)
carte de visite
(based on a photo by Franz Seraph Hanfstaengl)
Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München
(source: wikimedia)
no copyright infringement intended

A painter coming from a family of artists (son of sculptor Josef Calanza Max, nephew of sculptor Emanuel Max Ritter von Wachstein - both father and uncle were among the artists who created the monuments on Charles Bridge); studied in Prague, Vienna, and Munich; his studies included somnambulism, hypnotism, spiritism, also Darwinism, Asiatic philosophy, the ideas of Schopenhauer; a curious mix, you'd say; actually his interests blending parapsychology and theosophy with evolutionism and anthropology showed in his works, where he developed an allegorical-mystical pictorial language presaging the Secessionist Art; he owned a large scientific collection of prehistoric ethnological and anthropological finds: the collection and his correspondence now reside in the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen in Mannheim; was surrounded in his summer residence at Starnberger Lake by a family of monkeys, which he painted often, sometimes portraying them as humans; he became a professor of Historical Painting at the Munich Academy, also a fellow of the Theosophical Society, and in 1900 was ennobled: Ritter von Max.

(The Moderns)



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