Gertraud Rostosky

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Gertraud Maria Sophie Rostosky (born January 7, 1876 in Riga ; † May 30, 1959 in Würzburg ) was a German painter .


Gertraud Rostosky in the Salon on the New World, 1908

Gertraud Rostosky was born on January 7, 1876 in Riga as the second daughter of the Leipzig- born bookseller Heinrich Rostosky (September 29, 1844 - January 11, 1876) and Maria Wadenklee (January 7, 1854 - January 27, 1938) born. The animal and landscape painter Carl Oswald Rostosky (born June 20, 1839 Leipzig, † June 21, 1868 Munich) was her uncle. Because of the early death of the father, the family returned to the maternal Gutshof Neue Welt in Würzburg.

She attended schools in Plauen / Vogtland and Würzburg , where she passed her Abitur in 1892. After first attempts to paint together with the poet Max Dauthendey , who was closely associated with the New World and its inhabitants, her career goal was set early on. She turned down a marriage proposal from Dauthendeys in 1894, as she first wanted to become self-employed. Nevertheless, she remained lifelong connected to him not only as a supporter, muse and critic.

First, she took up studies at the drawing school of the Frauen -kauf-Verein in Dresden, which she passed in October 1899 with the state specialist teacher examination. She then taught at the German Girls' High School in Moscow for a year . She realized her actual career aspiration in the winter of 1900 when she began her studies with Angelo Jank at the women's academy of the Munich Artists ' Association in Munich ; other teachers were u. a. Anton Ažbe and Simon Hollósy . Her most formative and most important teacher, who had a decisive influence on her artistic way of seeing and painting, was the Polish painter Olga Boznańska , with whom she took lessons in Paris from 1902 to 1904. In Paris, together with the Norwegian Maja Vogt, she was a guest at Oskar Panizza in 1902 in Rue des Abbesses XIII .

In Munich, she maintained friendly contacts with Waldemar Bonsels , Willi Geiger , Otto Flechtner , Hans Brandenburg and his wife Dora Brandenburg-Polster , Nina Arbore , Edith von Bonin and Marie Schnür , the first wife of Franz Marc .

In 1908 her works were exhibited for the first time in Walther Zimmermann's art salon in Munich, followed by participation in the spring exhibition of the Munich Secession in 1910 . After extensive painting trips, mainly to Italy , she mainly worked in Berlin, Munich and Dresden, and later again in Würzburg in the New World . There she founded an artist colony in the 1920s , where u. a. Anton Kerschbaumer , Béla and Isolde Czóbel , Otto Modersohn , Friedrich Ahlers-Hestermann and his wife Alexandra Povòrina worked during the summer months. Here also was Erich Heckel's oil painting of the Marienberg fortress with the Machicolation -Turm, which was seen in the Bonn Federal Chancellery. Carl Grossberg , with whom she often looked for motifs in and around Würzburg , stood apart from the artists' colony . A special event of those days was the after-celebration of Otto Modersohn's 60th birthday, when Lisa Czóbel danced the Kulibajadere from Max Dauthendey's Winged Earth in his honor .

Gertraud Rostosky had been a member of the Association of Artists and Friends of Art in Berlin since 1927 and regularly took part in international exhibitions, such as B. at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition , in the Galerie Nierendorf and the Annual International Exhibition of Lithography and Wood Engraving in Chicago .

From her acquaintance with the married couple Maria and Ludwig Gremliza, whom she met in 1932, an extremely productive working group developed. The later doctor and epidemiologist Ludwig Gremliza became her student and began to supervise several of her literary works. These included the memories of creative spirits , which were published in a bibliophile edition in 1947. A portfolio with original lithographs based on drawings by Gertraud Rostosky was also published in 1947; This graphic edition was the first work of his newly founded Lovis press , in which publications by other artists such as Werner Gothein , Erich Heckel and Otto Dix followed.


Her preferred subjects were the portrait and the landscape, which she was able to perfectly implement with her characteristic and unmistakable palette in the variety of green tones and the gradations of the color scale between madder and ultramarine that were unique to her. Not unaffected by the personal impressions of the French late impressionism , she took up these impulses and developed her individual, unmistakable style from them. She remained a lyrical painter who found her way from an impression to a heightened expressivity with a sure feeling for the atmospheric, the vibrating and floating colors and the flowing transitions. Max Dauthendey, who was able to follow the artistic development from the beginning, summed up his point of view in a letter from January 1913:

"I really think it's necessary [...] to tell you once, after I've seen your autumn and Christmas exhibitions [...], that your pictures and your style of painting are the most manly of all women painting, if one may say so, and is the most ingenious. [...] Precisely what the general public, who never understand a genius, may call imperfect about your pictures and what they call unfinished, is your very own note of strength. One carries your pictures around in one's mind and cannot deal with them. You keep working on them and only work that stimulates further work and that you can never learn by heart is the work of a real force. In your pictures one never thinks of a learned bad imitation, of cheap design, as with the smooth skill of other ladies' work, which always speaks of skill and school, but never of a real lonely artist's feeling. Every work of art that really lasts must have something that stands alone and is completely based on itself, and that is what all your pictures have. I think in fifty or a hundred years the other pictures of women that were there in the exhibition will look like flat oil prints, while your pictures are inexhaustibly strong and people will be amazed that these male pictures could paint a woman. "

- Clara Eyb to Kleinstett : Now every word kisses you. Max Dauthendey - Gertraud Rostosky in their letters.

Individual evidence

  1. Michael Bauer: Oskar Panizza. A literary portrait . Hanser, Munich / Vienna 1984, ISBN 3-446-14055-7 and ISBN 3-446-13981-8 (dissertation Munich 1983), p. 207.
  2. ^ Brigitte Kleinlauth: Gertraud Rostosky. “Courage for yourself, art as a life's work.” An artist's life. Würzburg 1998, p. 127f.
  3. Clara Eyb zu Kleinstett (Ed.): Now every word kisses you. Max Dauthendey - Gertraud Rostosky in their letters. Würzburg 2008, p. 159.


  • Clara Eyb zu Kleinstett (Ed.): Now every word kisses you. Max Dauthendey - Gertraud Rostosky in their letters . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-8260-3897-6 .
  • Brigitte Kleinlauth: Gertraud Rostosky. “Courage for yourself, art as a life's work.” An artist's life . Schöningh, Würzburg 1998, ISBN 3-87717-804-9 .
  • Richard Hiepe (arr.): The Lovis Press. Schwenninger prints 1947–1949. With the catalog of the press and memories of Dr. Lovis Gremliza . Publishing house of the Neue Münchner Galerie, Munich 1985, ISBN 3-924765-04-9 .
  • Bettina Keß: The picturesque atmosphere of Würzburg - Gertraud Rostosky and her artist friends. In: Tradition and Awakening - Würzburg and the Art of the 1920s. Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2003, ISBN 3-8260-2763-9 .
  • Walter Roßdeutscher: Würzburg's 'New World' a refuge for the arts. In: Issue 6 of the Dauthendey Society. Würzburg, ISBN 3-935998-01-5 .

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