Donnerstag, 30. Mai 2013
Adolph Menzel on Franz von Lenbach
Adolph Menzel's judgement on art was harsh; the bar he'd raised for himself and his fellow artists was incredibly high.
Some of his hard judgement on the work of his contemporairies is passed on.
According to Joachim von Küremberg his judgement on Franz von Lenbach was as follows:
"Among many irrelevant things there are some rare cliffs that are standing out of the floods! - The main mishap with Lenbach is that he cannot draw, one only has to look at his laces, decoration and uniforms. They are painted completely nonchalant and really lousy! (...) This bavarian Franzl is painting on every tuesday- and friday afternoon a picture of Bismarck after an enlarged photography which he is tracing, then he is painting in the eyes, at the most he's merely sketching in the face and mumbles the rest altogether in a brown sauce; for doing so this barbarian receives thirtythousand marks."
(quoted from Gisold Lammel, "Anekdoten über die kleine Exzellenz", Berlin 1989)
Franz von Lenbach, Bismarck with hat, 1880
In this context I find it plausible and worth mentioning that Menzel is the only painter for whom David Hockney could surely proove in his book "Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters" that he didn't use photographies or the help of projectors for his drawings.
Wikipedia article on Adolph Menzel
Wikipedia article on Franz von Lenbach
David Hockney's "Secret Knowledge: Rediscovering the lost techniques of the Old Masters" on Amazon