Sunday, 20 May 2012

Max Brüning (1887-1968)

Max Bruning is one of the few non French artists that have been accepted as Boudoir artists. His pictures do have a different feel to the of the French artists, they have a harder edge to them, more hard core erotic than just a little bit sexy - distinctly Germanic.

Max was an accomplished German artist who from the age of 15 had studied at the Leipzig Academy of Art where he learnt printmaking techniques under Alois Kolb and Peter Halm.  He first exhibited his art in Munich in 1910 and during the First World War (1914-1918) he was commissioned as a war artist. His etching during this period include several moody studies of British Tommy prisoners of war.

Shortly after the war ended he settled in Berlin and began to create the wonderfully erotic engravings for which he is famous and later moving to the Tyrol in Austria. The majority of his plates were destroyed during bombing raids during 1943. His post war works was restricted to landscapes

Some of the boudoir girls have Milliere look, with the fluffy curled hair with hit of stocking tops, whilst others with whips and little else, don't require any imagination at all, a very overt message. His art wasn't limited to the erotic, he was just as able to capture life as real people with his portraiture, he created several etchings of his wife Mia, which as it appear regular must have been a well received and popular seller.

These two versions of similar girls would suggest he worked his plates to create new proofs. This is not a negative comment just an observation, many artists reworked plates, it is just the natural course of the evolution of their art. Look at Rembrandt and his numerous proofs !

These two look to be the same model or has he developed a look for all his subjects.

Max Bruning's pictures can be found as original etchings, heliograph copies of etchings and as sepia reproduction of etchings as postcards. The originals and those of most interest to collectors and usually signed in pencil and often marked "original radierung" that is original etching. Remember to look for the plate marks to ensure than you are not buying a giclee copy and look for good clean copies. There are period versions for all pockets, with the postcards costing as little as £5.00 up to many £100's for the more erotic image.

Sepia toned postcard version of his portrait etchings.
Some the erotic images are also to be found as postcards.

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