Rudolf Hellgrewe


ca. 1915
Size : 78,5 x 107,8 cm
Condition : B+
Technique : Lithography

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Rudolf Hellgrewe, Singapore, ca. 1915, lithograph, 78.5 x 107.8 cm (sheet), signature in the matrix lower left: "R. Hellgrewe".

Letter of the print:

Bottom right: "Dr. A. Wünsche: Land un Leben. Serie III: Weltverkehr No. 3".

In the middle: "Singapur".

Bottom right: "Druck und Verlag von Leutert & Schneidewind, Dresden".

Made by Rudolf Hellgrewe around 1915, this impressive lithograph is a journey into the heart of the British colony of Singapore. The artist shows the vitality of this port city which is situated on a strategic axis of the Asian continent. The colonial situation of Singapore is immediately apparent in the presence of a colonist dressed in white in the foreground, who gives instructions to the various workers unloading his goods. Under the impetus of the British, Chinese and Indian workers came to populate this colony to develop trade and work in the rubber plantations. This cultural mix is also visible in the diversity of the men's clothes that adorn this composition. Similarly, the presence of traditional boats in the foreground and modern boats in the background also testify to the history of this city-state between tradition and modernity. This large lithograph was used in a school setting to introduce German children to the world in the early 20th century.

Rudolf Hellgrewe (6 October 1860 - 1935) was a German landscape painter and illustrator. He was a long-time teacher at the Kunstgewerbemuseum (Museum of Decorative Arts) in Berlin. He is undoubtedly the most famous artist in the history of the German colonies. Hellgrewe was born in Hammerstein, in the province of Prussia. He attended the Königstädtische Realschule and then the Andreas Realschule in Berlin, before studying with Eugen Bracht and Christian Wilberg at the Berliner Kunstakademie. Initially known as the painter of Brandenburg lakes and sunsets, he later became the artist par excellence of colonial representations. He participated in the colonial exhibitions of 1896 and 1907 and was one of the founders of the Deutsches Kolonialmuseum (German Colonial Museum) in 1899. He was awarded the Medaille für Kunst und Wissenschaft (Medal for Art and Science) of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and the honorary medal of the Geographical Society of Jena (Geographischen Gesellschaft zu Jena).

Rudolf Hellgrewe