Paul Mueller-Kaempff: Cloud Shadows. The draughtsman
The Eicken – or: Painting against male prejudices
Capturing the light in the moment
In 1889, during a travel to the Baltic Sea, Paul Mueller-Kaempff became acquainted with Ahrenshoop. Shortly afterwards he moved to the remote fishing village on the Darß and opened the St. Lucas painting school in 1894. The painter Elisabeth von Eicken also moved to Ahrenshoop in 1894 and had a villa built here. It was the pristine nature on the peninsula chain of the Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft and the light there that fascinated both painters. Here, they were able to turn their backs on the industrialisation and urbanisation of all living spaces. It meant a renunciation of academic classicism, of the rigid guidelines of the academies and the possibility to detach painting from all narratives. Painting directly with the easel in nature was the path to artistic freedom and a sign of renewal.
Elisabeth von Eicken
Elisabeth von Eicken (*1862, Mülheim an der Ruhr – †1940, Potsdam) studied under the landscape painter Edmond Yon and had been living in Paris and Barbizon for ten years, travelling to Menton, Geneva, Berlin and Meran. In Ahrenshoop, the painter was inspired by the untouched nature and the light over the sea. She was interested in the vibrant contrasts and reflections of light and shadow – light and transparent but also luminous and intensely coloured. In the exhibition at the Ahrenshoop Art Museum, photos and documents are shown alongside around 50 of the painter’s works.
Paul Mueller-Kaempff (*1861, Oldenburg – †1941, Berlin) studied at the art academies in Düsseldorf and Karlsruhe. In Berlin he became a student in the master class of Hans Fredrik Gude. Study tours to the Black Forest, the North Sea and Upper Italy trained his eye for landscapes. Nature in the change of seasons or impressive shapes and colours of clouds are subjected to strict principles of composition and a clear will of expression. In addition to paintings, watercolours, pastels, lithographs and drawings, his designs for furniture have also been preserved. With his painting school in Ahrenshoop, he inspired many artists to come to the Darß. More than 100 drawings and paintings are shown under the title “Wolkenschatten” (Cloud Shadows).
“Paul Müller-Kaempff and Elisabeth von Eicken shaped the art history of the Fischland-Darß-Zingst peninsula like hardly anyone else. In their works, they caught the essence of the landscape, leaving behind a lasting memory of what Ahrenshoop was like around 1900 – before the two world wars shattered the peaceful vision,” explains Dr Katrin Arrieta, Artistic Director of the Ahrenshoop Art Museum.
| Elisabeth von Eicken | Winterliche Gehöfte an der Ostsee | nach 1900 | Öl auf Leinwand, 56 x 76 cm | Privatbesitz |
| Paul Müller-Kaempff | Sommer am Dornenhaus (Ausschnitt), o. J. (nach 1906), Farbstifte, 25,5 x 50 cm, Romantikhotel Namenlos & Fischerwiege Ahrenshoop |
| Foto: Paul Müller-Kaempff mit Malschülerinnen | 1906 | Foto: Archiv der Gemeinde Ahrenshoop / Förderkreis Ahrenshoop e. V. |
| Elisabeth von Eicken | Baumallee | o. J. | Öl auf Leinwand | Sammlung der Gemeinde Ahrenshoop / Förderkreis Ahrenshoop e. V. |
| Elisabeth von Eicken | Au Village| um 1893 | Öl auf Leinwand | Privatbesitz |