Josef Madlener: life and works

Josef Madlener (1881–1967) was a German artist, illustrator, and writer. He was born near in Amendingen (part of Memmingen). His enactment was published in various newspapers, magazines, and a few children’s Christmas books, e. g. Das Christkind Kommt (1929) and Das Buch vom Christkind (1938). Madlener’s Christmas art then appeared in several postcard series. The monograph by Eduard Raps (1981) published for the artist’s centenary, shows a sampling of Madlener’s art.

The most well-known of Madlener’s paintings is “Der Berggeist” (“the mountain spirit”), from similarities trendy dated to the period a propos 1925–30. The painting is reproduced upon a postcard that was in the possession of J. R. R. Tolkien, marked “the origin of Gandalf”. Zimmermann (1983:22) interviewed Madlener’s daughter Julie (born 1910), who distinctly remembered her daddy painting Der Berggeist sometime after 1925/6. She plus noted that the postcard financial credit was “published in the late twenties by Ackermann Verlag München, in a folder when three or four thesame pictures later motifs drawn from German mythology: a fairy woman of the woods, a deer carrying a shiny cross amid its antlers, ‘Rübezahl’, and possibly one more”. The whereabouts of the native was ordinary for some sixty years, until it was auctioned upon Sotheby’s in July, 2005, and sold for 84,000 GBP [permanent dead link].

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The previous owner had met Madlener twice and described Madlener as mammal tall, about 185 cm. He recalled that Madlener liked to bake and, on his second visit in 1946 or 1947 served his own bread and much coffee. Having seen Der Berggeist upon his previous visit, the visitor told the artiste how much he loved it, and Madlener promptly told his guest to give it a good home.

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