Sunday, January 13, 2019

Paul Meyerheim

Paul Meyerheim (1842 - 1915) was a German artist known for his animal paintings, particularly lions and monkeys, as well as his paintings of humans interacting with them.

Paul Friedrich Meyerheim - 1891
Here, a performer does a sideshow trick of giving a treat from her mouth to a monkey. This painting will be sold at an upcoming Sotheby's auction in New York, and it can be previewed between January 25th and 31st.

Here's the preliminary study for the painting above. I did a previous post about how Meyerheim taught animal painting in Berlin.

Meyerheim was fascinated by interactions between humans and animals. Here he paints a woman reaching through the bars of a circus wagon to caresses the male lion as the lioness snarls in jealousy.

Friedrich Eduard Meyerheim "Guten Morgen, lieber Vater" (Good morning, dear Father) 1858
Meyerheim's father Friedrich was also a painter. The younger Meyerheim spent time in Paris studying the work of Courbet and the Barbizon painters, but his closest friend and mentor was Adolph Menzel, who excelled in capturing the realistic psychology of human interactions.

Meyerheim Menagerie/In der Tierbude,1894
In his painting Menagerie, a ragtag audience watches with fascination as an African stage performer shoulders a crocodile and the other man pries the jaws open. In the foreground, an older sister comforts a child who is frightened by the croc. Though this may seem inhumane to modern eyes, such traveling menageries raised awareness about exotic creatures among the general public. The painting won a gold medal at the Salon.

Wilhelm Kuhnert
Meyerheim's students included Wilhelm Kuhnert (above) and Heinrich von Zügel.
Biography of Meyerheim on Kunkel Fine Art Auctions


Pyracantha said...

In the first picture by Meyerheim an old man in the audience is wearing what appears to be a baseball cap with a logo on it. He's sitting at center right. Did they have baseball caps in late 1800s Germany?

Carol said...

That old man also appears in the menagerie picture petting the Brahma cow. It looks like he is wearing a Homburg hat with the side brims pulled up and what looks like an American flag pin on the side is the traditional small feather decoration.