Adolf Lins

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Adolf Lins, portrayed by Franz Eichhorst
Willingshausen painter's colony , photo from 1913; v. l. To the right: Heinrich Giebel , Marlies Dörr, Hermann Kätelhön , Hermann Metz , Wilhelm Thielmann , Adolf Lins, Heinrich Otto , Carl Bantzer
Adolf Lins: Ducks by the stream

Adolf Lins , called the Gänselins (born October 21, 1856 in Kassel , † March 26, 1927 in Düsseldorf ), was a German painter . He is assigned to the Düsseldorf School of Painting and belonged to the Willingshausen painters' colony .

Family and education

Adolf Lins was born on October 21, 1856 as the third of four children of the married couple Rudolph Lins (1822–1870), post office clerk, and Bertha, née Kürschner (1823–1890), in Kassel. When the father rose from post office assistant to senior post office secretary, the family moved the apartment to the outskirts of town due to the improved financial situation. But with the death of the father, Adolf is thirteen, the family experiences a social decline, which is documented by the renewed change of residence, now in the Castenalsgasse in the old town of Kassel. The mother is committed to a good education for all children. The son Adolf attended the humanistic-oriented Friedrichs-Gymnasium from 1866 and left it in 1872 with the Obersekunda-Reife. His siblings also pursue an upscale life, the older brother Carl works as an architect and drawing teacher, the younger brother Theophil is promoted to factory director and Adolf's sister, Auguste Lins, who is four years older, heads the technical school of the municipal household and trade association. She remains unmarried.

Adolf Lins studied from 1872 to 1875 at the art school in his home town of Kassel with Friedrich Müller (1801–1889), the history painter Eduard Ihlée and the landscape painters August Bromeis and Eduard Stiegel (1818–1879).

Stay in Willingshausen

Field path in the Schwalm - Museum Landscape Hessen Kassel

His first stay in the painter's village of Willingshausen in the Schwalm, in 1874 (and then every year until 1908), resulted from the recommendation of his Kassel academy teachers to intensify his painting style with practical studies on site. In the village he is able to win the affection of the children with direct and open interaction, who become the motifs of his pictures. On subsequent visits there, the message immediately spreads among the young villagers: "Lins is up". With the adults too, he quickly creates a special image for himself due to his spontaneous appearance and his painting activity with the easel in the open air in front of the Haase Gasthof, the actual painter's home. The friendship with the Düsseldorf painters Hermann Sondermann and Nikolaus Barthelmess motivated him to also move to Düsseldorf in 1877.

In Düsseldorf, where he settled in the house of the carpentry and art shipping company Georg Paffrath (1847–1925) at Jacobistraße 14c and initially worked for Ferdinand Brütt , he became a member of the artists' association Malkasten , for which he also wrote plays and poems Life called circle called "Orient", to which also Eduard Kaempffer , Hugo Mühlig , Heinrich Otto , Hans von Volkmann and Fritz von Wille belong, and the Association of Düsseldorf Artists for mutual support and help . In 1891 he co-founded the secessionist Free Association of Düsseldorf Artists . From 1902 to 1906 Lins was a member of the board of directors of the Düsseldorfer Kunsthalle . After the “artist and studio house” of the Association of Düsseldorf Artists was built in Sittarder Strasse 5, he moved into a studio there.

In 1915 Lins met Gertrud Klein, who became his housekeeper; However, it was only four years before his death, in 1923, that the painter legitimized living with her with a marriage contract. In 1926 he suffered a stroke and fell ill with diabetes. One eye must be surgically removed. Lins died on February 26, 1927 and was buried in the Düsseldorf Nordfriedhof , his wife continued to live in the studio building on Sittarder Straße.

Establishment of a new artist group in Röllshausen

From 1908 Lins (53 years old) and Hugo Mühlig (56 years old) lived and worked in Röllshausen, a neighboring town of Willingshausen, during the summer months . They are accommodated in the restaurant with a separate hall (their studio) owned by the farmer Johann Georg Siebert (1856–1930). Adolf Lins has lost nothing of his charisma. In 1910, young artists from Willingshausen followed and Röllshausen developed into an independent artist colony. The three decades younger painters such as Franz Eichhorst , Franz Martin Lünstroth (1880–1968), Walter Hoeck , Hans Bremer (1885–1959), Walter Courtois (fallen in 1914), Hans Wiegand (1890–1915) join them. They are followed by Emil Beithan (1878–1955), Karl Mons (1890–1947) and Arno Drescher (1882–1972), who eventually settle permanently in Röllshausen.

Lins and Mühlig should be classified in the new group as leaders or as father figures. A watercolor caricature by Lins, created in 1911, reflects the prevailing mood and order of the group of painters. Everyone seems satisfied and hooks one another. In order to emphasize their togetherness and equality, Lins places the painters on a line according to size. He himself, on the right side, with a pipe in his mouth, wants to direct his group of artists to a "non-commissioned officer". The title of the picture: “We stop being compatriot Linzerische Buabe,”… refers to their “group song”, which is intended to emphasize the common spirit of the alliance. Mühlig, with a cigar in his mouth, a beer glass in the right and a newspaper in the left occupies the center of the picture and is singled out by Linz as an intellectual father figure.

Lins also spends time studying outdoors in the Lower Rhine, including in Nierst, where he occasionally spends a few summer months. In 1880 he went to study in Lipperland to Schwalenberg and Paris ; In 1882 he made a trip to Kohlstädt near Bad Lippspringe , to Detmold and finally to Tyrol . Works that were created around 1885/90 document the artist's stay in the Dachau painters' colony near Munich.

Since 1877, Lins exhibited his works, rural children's scenes, but mostly village views and landscapes from the Schwalm, the Lower Rhine and Westphalia, and later also from Upper Bavaria, often with staffage figures, in leading Düsseldorf art dealers and in the annual exhibitions of the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande and Westphalia , the Free Association, the Berlin Academy as well as Dresden, Munich and Vienna. Since the 1880s he has preferred to paint stream and pasture landscapes populated with cows and sheep, but above all with chickens, ducks and geese, which earned him the nickname "goose lins". Paintings often appeared as wood engravings in the illustrated sheets of the time. Lins also created portraits, for example those of a few painters. Since the 1890s, however, he increasingly dealt with the pure landscape, whereby his painting style was increasingly characterized by an expressive, almost violent brushstroke. In addition to numerous watercolors and gouaches, there were also some independent graphic works; Illustrations for festivals in the “Malkasten” are kept in its archive.

Works (selection)

  • Evening in the village , issued: Düsseldorf 1876
  • Idyll , exhibited: Düsseldorf 1878 (Düsseldorfer Anzeiger, No. 79, March 20, 1878) Art note: Ad.Lins gives us a peaceful idyll in his picture. A girl sits with a child and a dog and plays on a meadow in the spring glow. The colorful herd of geese is looking for food on the fresh green .
  • On the way home , exhibited: 4th General German Art Exhibition, Düsseldorf 1880 (exhibition catalog, No. 485)
  • Hessian village landscape , exhibited: Art exhibition of the Kgl. Akademie der Künste, Berlin 1880 (exhib.-cat., No. 775d; with illustration as a drawing).
  • Motif from the Freisinger Moos , exhibited: Annual exhibition of the Kunstverein for the Rhineland and Westphalia, Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, July 1881.
  • The goose-girl , exhibited: Annual exhibition of the Kunstverein fd Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, May / June 1883. Purchase by the Kunstverein for a raffle (Düsseldorfer Anzeiger, No. 173, June 25, 1883).
  • At the brook , oil / canvas, 108 × 141 cm; signed: Ad. Lins 84. 1885: Rudolphinum Prague. Woodcut after painting, in: Daheim, Vol. 23a, 1887, p. 357.
  • Soap bubbles. Peasant boy sitting on the lawn , exhibited: Art exhibition of the Düsseldorf Artists Association, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Dec. 1885 (Düsseldorfer Anzeiger, No. 343, December 12, 1885) and anniversary exhibition, Berlin 1886.
  • Portrait of the Koblenz painter Heinrich Hartung III. , 1885: Koblenz, Middle Rhine Museum.
  • War in Peace , exhibited: Annual exhibition of the Kunstverein for the Rhld. U. Wf., Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, July 1886 (Düsseldorfer Anzeiger, No. 181 II, July 3, 1886).
  • Dance music , children making music and dancing in a Hessian village, exhibited: Art exhibition of the Düsseldorf Artists Association, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, November 1886 (Düsseldorfer Anzeiger, No. 321, November 21, 1886, report); 59th art exhibition of the Kgl. Academy of Arts, Berlin 1887 (exhibition catalog, No. 540).
  • Songs without words, six peasant children pulling hand in hand, driving two geese in front of them, singing through the village ; exhibited: International anniversary art exhibition in the Künstlerhaus, Vienna 1888 (exhibition catalog, no. 1146; with ill.); Wood engraving after a painting, in: Deutscher Hausschatz, Vol. 15b, 1888/89, p. 521.
  • Mühle im Waldtal , exhibited at: Kunstverein München, June 1889 (Munich Latest News, No. 261, June 6, 1889, p. 2).
  • Landscape; Motif near Dachau , exhibited: Annual exhibition of the art association for the Rhld. U. Wf., Düsseldorf, May / June 1889 (Düsseldorfer Anzeiger, No. 181, July 4, 1889).
  • Sick visit. A boy accompanied by a chicken dog brought the sick dachshund a bowl of milk . Wood engraving, in: Daheim, Vol. 26a, 1890, p. 676
  • Portrait of Anders Montan ; exhibited: Exhibition of drawings and watercolors, Düsseldorf, July 1892 (Düsseldorfer Anzeiger, no. 185, July 5, 1892, report).
  • Nude study , exhibited: Great Berlin Art Exhibition 1899 (exhibition catalog, No. 629).
  • Self-portrait , around 1900: Neue Galerie Kassel, AZ 1970.
  • Near Lissingen (Eifel); Flock of sheep on the slope , and Lissingen (Eifel); stony path, leading to the church village : The Eifel in art, exhibition of the Trier Art Association 1902; Illustration in: Die Rheinlande II.2, May 1902, pp. 32, 54.
  • Princess Eleonore's fox terrier (approx. 1905): Isselburg, Museum Wasserburg Arnholt.
  • At the Amper near Dachau , formerly Berlin, Neue Nationalgalerie; exhibited: Great Berlin Art Exhibition, Kunstpalais Düsseldorf 1918 (exhibition catalog, No. 1173).
  • Portrait of my mother ; exhibited: Great Berlin Art Exhibition, Kunstpalais Düsseldorf 1922 (exhibition catalog, No. 835).

Reproductions (selection)

  • Daheim XXIII, 1886/87; XXIV, 1887/88; XXVI, 1889/90; XXX, 1893/94; XXXI, 1894/95; XXXIII, 1896/97; XLIII, 1906.
  • From rock to sea XII, 1887.
  • German House Treasure XVII, 1889/90; XXVII, 1901/02.
  • Monika XXXI, 1899; XXXVI, 1904.
  • Gazebo 1889, 1902.
  • Kunstverein report, Düsseldorf 1897/98, 1898/99.
  • Over land and sea 1890, 1891.
  • Payne's Universe VII.


  • 1892: Honorary diploma, Dresden
  • 1900: Gold medal at the Paris World Exhibition
  • 1902: Gold medal, Düsseldorf
  • 1903: Small gold medal, Düsseldorf, German National Art Exhibition


  • Letter to Hermann Carl Hempel , Düsseldorf, June 30, 1891: Bonn, University Library.
  • Texts on plays, songs and poems, including Malkasten, you old boy (with A. Wansleben, H. Mühlig, O. Sohn), 1897: Düsseldorf, Malkasten-Archiv.

Representations by another hand

  • Eduard Kaempffer: Half-length portrait, half profile to the left, pastel, 54 × 41 cm; signed and inscribed: “Ad. Lins Willingshausen 1905 “: Willingshausen, Malerstübchen. Color illustration in: Willingshäuser Hefte 2, 1991, p. 3.
  • EK (Eduard Kaempffer): Adolf Lins, back figure standing with a long pipe in his right hand, pencil; monogrammed "EK". Illustration in: 100 years of paint box. 1948.
  • Fritz Neuhaus: Portrait of Adolf Lin, oil on Leuin wall, 59.5 × 46 cm: Düsseldorf, paint box.


  • Lins, Adolf. In: Friedrich von Boetticher: painter works of the 19th century. Contribution to art history. Volume 1/2, sheets 31–61: Heideck – Mayer, Louis. Ms. v. Boetticher's Verlag, Dresden 1895, pp. 884-885 ( ).
  • Friedrich Schaarschmidt : On the history of Düsseldorf art especially in the 19th century. Düsseldorf 1902, p. 341.
  • Wilhelm Schäfer (Ed.): Sculptor and painter in the countries on the Rhine. Düsseldorf 1913.
  • Hans Wolfgang Singer (Ed.): General artist lexicon. Life and works of the most famous visual artists. Prepared by Hermann Alexander Müller. Volume 2. Literary Institute Rütten & Loening, Frankfurt am Main 1921.
  • Carl Bantzer: Obituary for friend Adolf Lin. In: Hessenland. Vol. 39, Kassel 1927, pp. 83-85.
  • Paul Horn: Düsseldorf graphics in old and new times. Düsseldorf 1928.
  • Lins, Adolf . In: Hans Vollmer (Hrsg.): General lexicon of fine artists from antiquity to the present . Founded by Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker . tape 23 : Leitenstorfer – Mander . EA Seemann, Leipzig 1929, p. 257 .
  • Carl Bantzer: Hessen in German painting. Marburg 1939; with portrait by E. Kaempffer (1909); 3rd edition, Marburg 1950.
  • One hundred years of the artists' association Malkasten Düsseldorf 1848-1948. Düsseldorf 1948 (with an illustration of an etching, the portraits of H. Salentin, Chr. Kröner, O. Erdmann, HC Hempel, C. Bantzer and E. Hénoumont as well as portraits of the artist by Ed. Kämpffer and F. Eichhorst).
  • Emanuel Bénézit (Ed.): Dictionnaire Critique et Documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs de tous les temps et de tous les pays. Volume 5, 1976.
  • Bruckmann's Lexicon of Munich Art. Munich painter in the 19th century. Volume 3. Munich 1982.
  • LJ Reitmeier: Dachau the famous artist place. 1990 (5 fig.).
  • Carl Bantzer, Angelika Baeumerth: Adolf Lins. In: Willingshäuser Hefte. 2 (exhibition catalog 1991), with a biographical overview by Dieter Bergmann (16 illustrations, 8 of them in color).
  • Sabine Schroyen (arrangement): Sources on the history of the artists' association Malkasten. A center of bourgeois art and culture in Düsseldorf since 1848, Cologne 1992.
  • A. Baeumerth, W. Körs: Hugo Mühlig - Life and Work, Düsseldorf 1997.
  • Hans Paffrath (Ed.): Lexicon of the Düsseldorf School of Painting 1819–1918. Volume 2: Haach – Murtfeldt. Published by the Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf in the Ehrenhof and by the Paffrath Gallery. Bruckmann, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-7654-3010-2 , pp. 351-353 (fig.).
  • R. Demme: The Willingshausen painters as a group. Kassel 2008.

Web links

Commons : Adolf Lins  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Lins, Adolf, painter, Jacobistr. 14c, in the address book of the city of Düsseldorf 1901 , p. 276
  2. ^ Eduard Kaempffert: Adolf Lins. In: Roland Demme: The Willingshausen painters as a group. 1905, p. 17.
  3. ^ Adolf Lins: Caricature of the Röllshausen painters' colony in 1911.
  4. State. Art collections Kassel. Inventory catalog of 19th century paintings (Marianne Heinz, arr.), 1991, No. 438; with illustration.
  5. ^ Marianne Bernhard: Lost works of painting. Munich 1965, p. 43: Berlin, NG; Loss of war.