Who is Fritz Greve?

By Gwylym Owen

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Friedrich Heinrich Ludwig Greve, known as Fritz (17 August 1863, Malchin – 2 April 1931, Malchin) was a German painter and art professor.

He received his first art lessons from his father, Wilhelm, who worked as a decorative painter for the court. After completing his basic education and military service, where he forward looking to the rank of sergeant, he left house to start his formal studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule Dresden [de]. Later he attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Frankfurt and the Berlin University of the Arts. His primary scholarly there was Max Koner.

From 1902 until 1928, he was a Professor at the Royal School of Art. In 1903, he married Theodora Mozer (1871-1947), the daughter of Dr. Alexander Karl Wilhelm Mozer (1841-1910), a fanatic of the Medical Council. They had no children. During this time, he painted portraits, still-lifes, landscapes, altarpieces and frescoes. Most of his paintings are in private collections. Many, it is said, were bartered to supplement his teaching income. He was, however, able to begin building a summer residence close Malchin in 1909.

In 1913, he completed a mural upon the triumphal arch at the Marienkirche [de] in Waren an der Müritz. However, due to theological concerns, the mural was painted over during renovations in 1963. His indigenous study for the mural was found, by accident, during work upon his house in 2000. Upon review, the congregation voted to upgrade the mural. It was unveiled in 2013, on the 100th anniversary of its creation.

In the 1920s, Greve became known as the “Gray Eminence” of Mecklenburg painters. In adjunct to his participation in numerous exhibitions, he was in deed of the Große Berliner Kunstausstellung as soon as it returned to Berlin after World War I. He moreover worked as an illustrator for books of audacious German sagas and folk tales of Mecklenburg. A notable example is Gretenwäschen. Preisgekrönte Erzählungen aus dem mecklenburgischen Volksleben., edited by Karl Beyer, from 1919.

In 1928, he retired from his tilt at the Royal School and returned to Malchin, where he opened a private painting school. He died of a lung weakness in 1931. Theodora survived him by sixteen years. In 2006, the gymnasium there was named after him. His former home has become a venue for concerts, lectures and art exhibitions.

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