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Alexander Kircher

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Nationality  Austrian/German

Name  Alexander Kircher
Alexander Kircher
Born  February 26, 1867Trieste, Austro-Hungarian Empire
Known for  Marine and landscape paintings, drawings and illustrations
Movement  1904 from Trieste to Dresden (Saxony), Germany
Awards  Spanish Order of Isabella the Catholic
Died  September 16, 1939, Berlin, Germany
Patrons  Franz Joseph I of Austria, Wilhelm II

Alexander Kircher

Alexander Kircher (26 February 1867 – 16 September 1939) was an Austrian-German marine- and landscape painter and an illustrator. Many of his paintings are exhibited in museums in Germany, Austria, Croatia and Slovenia or are privately owned in those countries. But there are also some of his paintings in the United States of America, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Greece. The paintings of Kircher are offered at leading auction houses such as Christie's and Bonhams London, Sotheby's New York, Burchard Galleries St.Petersburg Florida, Stahl Hamburg, Van Ham Cologne, the Dorotheum in Vienna and several others. The majority of his paintings the artist signed with Alex Kircher, where he sometimes wrote the year of the creation of the image below. But in his paintings, you will also find the signatures as shown here by the auction house to German Bergmann auction.


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Alexander Kircher Alexander Kircher Works on Sale at Auction Biography

Kircher was born in Trieste, which belonged at that time to the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Habsburg Monarchy). As a young man he intended to choose the profession of a naval officer in the Austro-Hungarian Navy. Because of a foot injury his application was rejected. In 1888 he opted for studying painting at the Berlin Academy, where he concentrated mainly on marine painting from the start. His teachers were Hans Gude and Hermann Eschke.

Alexander Kircher 19th Century Paintings and Watercolours Alexander Kircher Dorotheum

Kircher made numerous study trips throughout Europa, Asia, North America and Egypt. During these travels, he made several important paintings, drawings and illustrations. In 1893 he worked on the picturesque decoration of buildings at the World Exhibition in Chicago as well as panoramas and dioramas of the marine painter de:Hans von Petersen. In addition, Kircher worked as an illustrator for popular German and foreign magazines and publishers of which only a few can be mentioned: The Leipziger Illustrierte Zeitung or the modern illustrated weekly Reclams universe (Leipzig), the writings of the Austrian (Vienna) and the German fleet association (Berlin) and the Viennese publisher Philipp & Kramer, for which he designed the postcard series "Dalmatia and Istria". These include Feldpost, postcards which Kircher created for the Austrian Red Cross, the War Welfare Office or the War Aid Office and also for the London Postcard Publisher Raphael Tuck & Sons and the Swedish Postcards Publisher: "Gothenburg Lithographic AB and Meyer & Köster" etc. For some time Kircher owned a steam yacht, which he named Romana – this was his wife's name. With this ship he could better motives collect and draw maritime objects from the area. This he did for example in fleet parades.

Alexander Kircher 19th Century Paintings and Watercolours Alexander Kircher Dorotheum

Between 1895 and 1900 he was a professor at the Art Academy in Trieste and married Romana Salmassi in the Chiesa di Sant'Antonio Taumaturgo on October 15, 1898. From this connection, three sons and three daughters were born. In 1904, after a short stay in Vienna, Kircher moved from Trieste to Dresden, where he lived until 1906 and where he joined as a freelance artist to the General German art cooperative. 1906 the family moved to Moritzburg. From 1922 Kircher lived in Niederlößnitz at Villa Jagdweg 6 and from 1933 to about 1935 in Kötzschenbroda-Niederlößnitz. In June 1935, Kircher's wife died. Then the painter moved to Klotzsche in a residential building, which belonged to the former Air War School Klotzsche.

Influential members of the nobility and some industrialists – especially from the circles of Maritime Navigation – promoted the artist. First of them Emperor Franz Joseph I and Emperor Wilhelm II. On behalf of these two monarchs, Kircher painted numerous images of the Austro-Hungarian Navy and the Imperial German Navy. His paintings were also found on the large passenger ships of the time, as well as in the offices of well known shipping companies and shipyards and of course also in private ownership. During World War II, several images got lost or disappeared. An example of the many lost images is the large oil painting of the steamship Columbus ("The Columbus in the Kaiser lock"). This painting was given by the North German Lloyd as a gift to the city of Bremerhaven on the occasion of its 100th anniversary in 1927. The painting has disappeared at the end of World War II (1945). Others of his paintings have been preserved for posterity and can be seen in many museums today; see list of locations excerpt.

Kircher concluded his life's work with a series of one hundred paintings which documented the development of German shipping over a millennium and which hung in the Institute and Museum of Oceanography MfM. of the University of Berlin. The current location of the works is unknown, reproductions have since appeared as an image panel work (1934) and in book form (1939) and recently only in parts on CD-ROM (2010). Meanwhile, 22 images, of which the majority is from the collection of MfM, were rediscovered in the archives of Wehrgeschichtliches Training Centre of the Naval Academy Mürwik in Flensburg-Mürwik. Kircher died on September 16, 1939, in Berlin, the last place where he had worked. The painter was laid to rest in the family grave in Moritzburg, Saxony.

Awards and decorations

Kircher received the Spanish Order of Isabella the Catholic in February 1909 in the Spanish Embassy in Berlin. This award will be given for services to art and science.

Collection of paintings (excerpt)

  • The Battle of Lissa. Oil on canvas, 1918, 318 x 705 cm. Museum of Military History, Vienna.
  • Frigate SMS Novara. Oil on canvas, 118 x 100 cm. Military History Museum, Vienna.
  • Passenger ship Isonzo in the Gulf of Trieste. Oil on canvas, 1917, 300 x 690 cm, Inv.-Nr.: BPA-012797. Technisches Museum, Vienna.
  • Ships of Tegetthoff class, in the foreground SMS Viribus Unitis. Oil on canvas, 96 x 150 cm. Austrian Marine Association, Vienna.
  • SMS Erzherzog Karl. Oil on canvas, 50 x 75 cm. Archduke Franz Ferdinand Museum, Artstetten, Lower Austria.
  • Cruiser frigates Stosch, Gneisenau and Stein. Oil on canvas, 1938. Naval Academy, Flensburg-Mürwik.
  • SMS Emden in battle. Oil on canvas, 1910, 101 x 150 cm. City Museum Warleberger-Hof, Kiel.
  • Steamer Delos Deutsche Levante line. Gouache, 79 x 65 cm. German Maritime Museum, Bremerhaven.
  • North German winter landscape – Frisian house on a narrow river. Oil on cardboard, about 1925, 20 x 30 cm. privately owned.
  • Port of Hamburg with the mail steamer Cap Arcona. Oil on canvas, 1932 98 x 148 cm. Museum of Communication, former Federal Postal Museum, Frankfurt am Main.
  • Cable steamer Stephan before Yap (Caroline). Oil on canvas, 1905, 99 x 148 cm. Museum of Communication, former Federal Postal Museum, Frankfurt am Main.
  • Swedish passenger ship Kungsholm in the port of Göteborg. Oil on canvas, 1928, 106 x 137.8 cm. The Post Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.
  • LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin with a Russian icebreaker "Malygin". Oil on canvas, 1931, 81 x 121.8 cm. Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen.
  • SMS Kaiser Karl VI. Oil on canvas, 1895, 88 x 150 cm. Museum of the city of Rovinj, Rovinj (Croatia).
  • Steam yacht Sazume (Japanese 雀, the sparrow in English). Oil on canvas, 47 x 66 cm. Museum of the city of Rovinj, (Croatia).
  • Battleship USS Kentucky. Oil on cardboard, 1898, 32 x 47.5 cm. Maritime Museum, Split (Croatia), Split
  • Steamer Pelikan. Oil on cardboard, 1891, 32 x 48 cm. Maritime Museum, Split (Croatia).
  • SMS Fasan. Oil on canvas, 1897, 70 x 165 cm. Historical Museum of Istria, Pula (Croatia).
  • SMS Budapest off the port of Fiume. Graphics, 1905, 35 × 57 cm. Maritime and History Museum of Littoral Croatia, Rijeka (Croatia).
  • Brigantine at sea. Oil on canvas, 1892, 75 x 150 cm. Sergej Mašera-Maritime Museum, Piran (Slovenia).
  • Austrian Barque off Gibraltar. Oil on canvas, 1893, 70,5 × 145,5 cm. Sergej Mašera-Maritimes Museum, Piran
  • Larger Image collections

  • In addition to the selection of the above pictures large stocks of Kircher paintings exist in the Military History Museum (HGM) in Vienna and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand Museum in Artstetten in Lower Austria. Moreover, in Germany in the Naval Academy, Flensburg-Mürwik and there some Kircher paintings are shown in the commander Villa. In Croatia in the museum of the city of Rovinj and Split in the Maritime Museum. Of course, there are also numerous paintings in private ownership.
  • Stolen artwork

  • The original painting: "LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin with Russian icebreaker Malygin" from 1931, dimensions: 26.00 x 39.00 inch, formerly part of the Reichspostmuseum in Berlin - 1945 after the end of the Second World War this image was lost. - The painting was auctioned at Cowan's Auctions in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA for US $19,550 in 2005. Since then, the painting has been at Pullman Gallery in London, a return to the Museum of Communication in Frankfurt am Main (Legal successor to the Reichspostmuseum) has not yet taken place.
  • Others

    In the remarkable Austro-Hungarian Navy Museum "Gallerion", in Novigrad, Istria (Croatia), multiple replicas and photographs of well known Kircher paintings will be shown.


  • De Gruyter (ed.: Andreas Beyer, Bénédict Savoy, Wolf Tegethoff): The artists of the World. Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin / Boston 2014, Vol.:80, p. 307, ISBN 978-3-11-023185-4 --->>> Catalogue of the German National Library.
  • Hans-F. Schweers: Gemälde in deutschen Museen. Katalog der ausgestellten und depotgelagerten Werke, 4.akt.u.erw.Ausgb., Seite 607, K. G. Saur Verlag, München 2005, ISBN 3-598-24168-2, German language.
  • Stjepan Lozo: Vessel Portraits by Alexander Kircher, Exhibition catalog year 2000, The Croatian Maritime Museum, Split
  • Emmanuel Bénézit: Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs dessinateurs et graveurs. Édition Gründ, Paris 1999, Band 7, S. 814, ISBN 2-7000-3017-6 --->>> Bibliothèque nationale de France.
  • Renate Basch-Ritter (ed.): Österreich auf allen Meeren. Styria Verlag, Graz, Wien, Köln, 1995, German language.
  • Hans Jurgen Hansen: The Ships of the German Fleets, 1848-1945. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis June 1988, ISBN 978-0870216541
  • A. E. Sokol (ed.): Seemacht Österreich – Die kuk Kriegsmarine 1382–1918. Verlag F. Molden, Wien, München, Zürich, 1972, German language.
  • Thieme-Becker (ed.): General lexicon of visual artists from Antiquity to the Present. Volume 20, Leipzig, 1927 351st
  • Johannes Kaltenboeck: Mit vereinten Kräften. Union, deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, Stuttgart, 1916, 3rd edition, German language.
  • Exhibitions

  • Show Event: Ship ahead – Marine Painting from the 14th to the 19th century. Residenzgalerie Salzburg, Austria from July 16, 2005 to November 1, 2005
  • Stjepan Lozo: Vessel Portraits by Alexander Kircher, year 2000, The Croatian Maritime Museum, Split
  • References

    Alexander Kircher Wikipedia

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