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Studio: international art — 34.1905

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Conversations with Menzel

jfr*ZZfflTy* f\V obliterate their natural

y^^->^^^p^-^\. genius.

y~ i^\s_ r ^\ ^n<^ ^s Excellency

^\ ^ / ^ Jp—■ ""sC > took sides — but as an

\ \ / umpire. In fact, he

^ I / \ ! sided with the young,

y \> as well as with the old.

>k \. He exhibited his pic-

\v I^11 P1''111 ~ tures both at the acade-

S X ^ /f\ mical Grosse and with

>§yy%A/^ \ \ the Liebermann coterie,

ygy-y \/\ under the wing of

r* ^ ff \ \ Cassirer, where at the

v |S / \ time of his death his

\^ i y\ *° \ great cartoon, called the

/ <• X \ \ Cassel cartoon, which

/&/*~-J!~S^*s\f<f y / \ has never been painted,

^jz, M.U. / J^\s ' X was being exhibited.

>W %_>X^ / £^<_- His Excellency was too

>k / \ diplomatically trained

./ \ an<^ t0° jUSt t0 C011"

7 II X. / demn the good with the

r \. x L""ns evil.

V y "1 am either a thorn

in their side," said His
| Excellency, having

Qsm> pasR jTLnn - opened the door to me

in person, after I had
rung the bell for a
quarter of an hour, " or

CONVERSATIONS WITH I am put up as an example in argument.
ADOLF VON MENZEL BY " It is quite true that I went fctoz^ the Academy
OTTOMAR BETA myself when I came from Breslau in 1830 and

rushed into paint, picking up crumbs as a litho-
grapher, with six younger brothers and sisters at
His Excellency—he was the only artist thus home to assist. But my father had been an artist
distinguished in Germany, and least in need of before me and had been my teacher. True, also,
it—had asked me to come to see him. This I have my own way of painting, and it is good
was an extraordinary occurrence. The then octo- enough for me"

genarian was always as solitary as a lighthouse- I thought it pleasant to interpolate a remark:
keeper, up four nights in a Berlin " sky-scraper," " Herr von Werner said, ' If our young people
called " Miethscaserne," near the park, or "Thier- were all Menzels we should not be in need of an
garten." But he had been persuaded to take sides Academy at all'"

in a discussion with the director of the Academy, " Very kind of him," the octogenarian continued ;
Anton von Werner, whose spokesman I had been "but I have had to pay dearly for my independent
in the "Deutsche Revue" (1898 and '99). The spirit. Look at those pictures of mine in the
" Progressives " were encroaching upon the sacred National Gallery and in the Castle ('Alte Schloss ')
precincts of that venerable establishment. They —The Concert at Rheinsberg, The Dinner at
were said to be ignorant reprobates, mostly colour- Sanssouri, The Battle of Hochkirch. They are
blind, who, after having failed in every other opaque and shrivelled. I began with inundating
decent vocation, even that of authorship, imagined my paints with hot oil and other vehicles; and
themselves called upon to revolutionise the laws that is very dangerous. Later I abolished
of perception and artistic representation. The everything of that sort. I have no secrets like
Academy, in its present state, they argued, would Gussow and Bocklin, with their amber-varnish and


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