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Ernst Graupner

by on November 14, 2013

Ernst Graupner, German deceased, (Ingolstadt 1917 – Munich 1989)

Ernst Graupner was born in the small city of Ingolstadt, north of Munich. After a short time working as a journalist, he left that career to enroll in the Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste in Munich where he studied with Herman Kaspar and Juilus Hess.

During the difficult period of WWII Graupner became fascinated by the works of the Blue Rider (Blaue Reiter), Kandinsky and Paul Klee, but works by these artists were at the time supressed by the Nazi regime and difficult to see.

After the war, Graupner established himself as a freelance artist in Munich, together with his wife the Swiss artist Annemarie Graupner (ne Baumgartner). Annemarie, who created collages and assemblages using textiles. was notably the niece of the Swiss watercolorist Christian Baumgartner.

Ernst Graupner’s “reverse painting on glass” painted on a reverse side sheet of glass.

In this unique style of art, the entire process of the painting was done in reverse and as a mirror image. The painting would then be viewed from the unpainted side of the glass. The eyes would had to be painted first and then the flesh colors of the head painted behind the eyes. Paintings on glass are particularly clear, detailed and vibrant. Full detail and clarity of this work of art are not captured by the photos.

This century old technique has been used to charming effect by a Ernst Graupner, amodern German artist who was influenced by the Blaue Reiter expressionist school in Munich.

Graupner said that he practiced reverse painting as a kind of antidote to the time-bound work of oil on canvas.

Describing his method of painting, he wrote:

“In my reverse glass painting I use the so called eglomise technique, a process in which the finest details (hair, lace, hands) are scratched out of the color field with a needle or a little knife and then the intended color is deposited there. This technique was used in Western Bohemia in the 18th and 19th Centuries.”

Note: In French, reverse glass painting is known as “peinture sous verre” and the paintings themselves can be refered to as “Sous Verres.”

In German, this technique is known as “hinterglasmalerei.” Hinterglas means “behind the glass” and malerei is the Geman word for painting.


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