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Artist:     Alexander Kircher (German-Austrian marine painter, 1867-1939)
Title:     WW1: Naval battle between German submarine U111 and an enemy ship
Item ID   4920
Price:     12000.00 €


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Extremely rare naval battle painting from the First World War: German submarine U 111 torpedoes enemy (English?) ship. This work was executed in 1917 by one of most famous marine painter of early 20th Century German-Austrian naval and landscape painter and illustrator Alexander Kircher (1867 in Trieste - 1939 in Berlin).

This submarine U 111 ( SM U 111 ) was a diesel-electric submarine of the German Imperial Navy, which was used in the First World War. After the war, the boat was used by the US Navy under the name USS U-111 in exhibitions and trials. U 111 was commissioned on 5 May 1916. The production of the boat body took over the Bremen Volcano shipyard in Vegesack. The completion took place at the Germania shipyard in Kiel, where the boat ran from the pile on September 5, 1917.

During the First World War, U 111 conducted four activities around the British Isles. Three merchant ships – one British, one Danish and one Norwegian – were sunk with a total tonnage of 3,011 GRT.

The largest ship sunk by U 111 was the British cargo ship Boscastle (2,346 GRT). The ship was torpedoes on its journey from Barry to Scapa Flow about 14 nautical miles north Westnorthwest of Strumble head in St. George's Canal. 18 people lost their lives.

Here is the artist‘s biography from the Wikipedia :

Already as a boy, Kircher showed great interest in shipbuilding and therefore decided to embark on a Seeoffizierslaufbahn in the K. U. K. Navy. [3] However, due to a foot injury this wish could not be realized and so he opted for the study of painting at the Berlin Academy (from 1888), where he turned to maritime subjects from the beginning. His teachers were Hans Fredrik Gude and Hermann Eschke. Kircher undertook extensive study trips throughout Europe, Asia and North America, where a number of significant paintings, drawings and illustrations were created. -1893 he worked on the picturesque decoration of buildings at the World Exposition in Chicago with [4] as well as on panoramas and dioramas of the marine painter Hans von Petersen. Alexander Kircher also worked as an illustrator for prestigious German and foreign magazines, such as the Leipzig illustrated newspaper or the Illustrated Weekly journal Reclams Universum (Leipzig), the typefaces of the Austrian (Vienna) and German fleet Company (Berlin) as well as the Viennese publisher Jacques Philipp before Philipp & Kramer, for whom he designed the postcard series "Dalmatia and Istria", among others with illustrations of the ships of the Rijeka-based shipping company Adria. Also worth mentioning are the post and postcard postcards, which Kircher for the Austrian Red Cross, the war Fürsorgeamt and the war aid office. In addition, postcards for the well-known Viennese artist postcard publisher BKWI, the Verlag M. Munk in Vienna, the publishing house of Mayr & Bamberg in Ljubljana for the World Postal Association, as well as the art publisher Theodor Stroefer in his T.S.N. series and the publishing house "Erste Watch factory, Hanns Konrad ", Imperial purveyor in Brüx. -Under the heading artist postcards also work the Kircher for the London Post card publishing house Raphael Tuck & Sons in connection with his successful art postcard series called "Oilette" performed as well as for the publishers Max Ettlinger & Co (the Royal series) and mixed & Co., both London. The category Marine postcards are classified as being issued by the Reich Navy in Berlin in a series under the name: "The European War 1914/17" and which, for example, also show Kircher pictures. An even such postcards-World War 1, series which shows various Kircher pictures was published by the well-known Dresden photochromism Printing House and Verlag Nenke & Ostermaier [5]. -It is also worth mentioning that there are replicas of individual Kircherbildern paintings, some of which are found in museums. Sometimes Kircher some of the most popular themes in his view, such as the portrait of the frigate Radetzky. The painting gained a certain broad effect as it was depicted on a postcard of the Austrian Fleet Association. A very similar picture, in which the frigate is shown from a different angle, is privately owned. Another example is the issue of an expiring fishing boat, on whose main sail the number 575 is shown. For this, at least 4 different paintings are known, two show only the boat and the coastal landscape, with two other pictures joined 2 or 3 on the shore and acting women. This latter series was presumed to be in its last phase of life from 1930. Between 1895 and 1900 he taught as a professor at the Art Academy in Trieste and married on October 15, 1898 Romana Salmassi. Three sons and three daughters emerged from this connection. In 1904, Kircher moved from Trieste over a short stay in Vienna to Dresden, where he lived according to address Book of 1904 (S. 395) and 1905 (S. 410) and where he joined as a freelance artist of the local art cooperative. There is also a correspondence between Kircher and the Austrian-German painter, conservator and photographer Ermenegildo Antonio Donadini, who is living in Dresden. 1906 moved the family to Moritzburg. -According to address book 1922/23 as well as 1931 lived Kircher then in the lower Lößnitz in the today listed villa hunting way 6, according to address book 1933 to about 1935 lived in Kötzschenbroda-Lößnitz in the Villa Zillerstraße 5. – In June 1935, the wife of Alexander Kircher. According to the address book, the painter moved from 1939 to Klotzsche [7] to Ludwig-Jahn-Straße 3 into a residential building.

Influential patrons from nobility and large-scale industries – in particular maritime shipping – promoted the artist. At the top were Emperor Franz Joseph I and Kaiser Wilhelm II, on whose behalf he painted numerous naval and fleet images of the Austro-Hungarian Navy and German naval fleet. From this period of work there are several paintings in the Army History Museum in Vienna, among others the monumental painting of the naval Battle of Lissa, which is particularly noteworthy. An almost equally large exhibit of the passenger ship Isonzo [8] hangs at the exposed place in the Technical Museum in Vienna. -From this period there is also a significant collection of 19 paintings as permanent exhibition at Schloss Artstetten in Lower Austria and there in the marine room of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand Museum. An even more extensive collection of Kircher paintings, but with 32 works, is located in Croatia, in the Maritime Museum of Split. [9] Furthermore, there are two paintings from this period, which are located in the premises of the Naval Association Vienna, in the House of the former Austrian Fleet Association. In both pictures, the battleship SMS Viribus Unitis is the center of the presentation. -In addition, the museum Stiftung Post und Telekommunikation MSPT (Museum of Communication) in Frankfurt am Main, in its art collection, has 8 Kircher exhibits; See lit. Hans-F. Schweers: Paintings in German museums. In April 1916, Kircher applied for admission to the art group of the Austro-Hungarian war press quarter and thus intended to participate as a volunteer war painter in the First World War. So he wanted to paint a series of pictures at the Isonzo Front, in Trieste and Pola, which were destined for the new Hofburg. This petition, however, was rejected by the Army command, as was another one from November 1917. 10] In the interwar period Alexander Kircher held the reconstruction of the German Merchant and naval Navy in several paintings. On many passenger and warships, paintings of the church's hand were found in the representation rooms, which the artist in most cases with "Alex. KIRCHER "signed. In the shipping companies and shipyards, some of his works have been able to withstand the turmoil of war (for example, North German Lloyd Bremen and Hapag Hamburg). Kircher decided on his life's work with a series of one hundred paintings, which depicted the development of the German navigation over a millennium and which hung in the Institute and Museum for Oceanography MfM of the University of Berlin. The whereabouts of the works have not been clarified until now, reproductions have been published as Image mathematical table [11] (1934) and in the form of books [12] (1939). In the meantime 22 pictures, most of which came from the collection of the MfM, were rediscovered in the archive of the Military History Training center of the Naval School Mürwik. Individual pieces can be visited there in the commander's villa.

Literature: "General Artist´s Lexicon" by Thieme/Becker, Leipzig, 1999; in -online the history of this submarine on the link from Wikipedia: Inscription: signed and dated 1917 lower right.. Technique: oil on canvas. Original gold-plated frame. Measurements: unframed w43 1/2" x h 31 3/4" (110,5 x 80,5 cm), framed w 47 1/2" x h 35 5/8" ( 120,5 x 90,5 cm). Condition: in very good condition.

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