Rocks in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains 4


A watercolor showing the “Schrammsteinmassiv”, a famous group or rocks in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, made by Svend Keller on June 7th, 1949. The Elbe Sandstone Mountains were one of Svend Keller’s favorite landscapes and there are several depictions of motives from this area made in different techniques (see


Rudolf Hünlich – Tree Studies I


A watercolor study from Rudolf Hünlich’s sketch book, one of several tree and forest studies. Rudolf Hünlich was an uncle of my grandfather Rolf Keller (a brother of his mother). He was a professional graphics artist working as a xylographer. He was only 24 years old when he died of a lung disease. I don’t have the exact dates of his life. I guess the sketch book is from the 1870s or 1880s, but I don’t know exactly. Here is another drawing from that sketch book.

Mathilde Pajeken: River Landscape


A sketch by the painter Mathilde Pajeken, one of my a great-grandaunts. She was born in Bremen on January 20th 1842 as a daughter of the ship captain Eduard Pajeken and his first wife Wilhelmine Pajeken, née Holler. Later in her life she lived in Munich. She died on March 20th, 1913.

This sketch, unfortunately on bad and decaying paper, possibly shows a view at the Weser river, i.e. the river flowing through her home city of Bremen.

Occasionally, paintings by Mathilde Pajeken show up in auctions on the internet, see, for example this one, showing motives similar to this sketch.

After his first wife’s death, Mathilde Pajeken’s father Eduard Pajeken married again. My great-grandfather, the author Friedrich Joachim Pajeken, is a son from this second marriage, so Mathilde Pajeken was his half-sister.

Rudolf Hünlich – Pond in the Forest


Rudolf Hünlich was the youngest brothers of Rolf Keller’s mother Gabriele Keller, née Hünlich. He died from pneumonia, only 24 years old. I don’t have his date of birth or date of death. We have a sketchbook from him (from which this view of a pond in the forest is taken) as well as some separate sketches and drawings. The drawings are probably from the 1870s or 1880s. Rudolf Hünlich was a xylographer.

Their father Friedrich Wilhelm Hünlich was a clerk at a district court. He was from a family of weavers. His wife, Rosa Plocek, was from Czechia. The Hünlich family originated from Spremberg-Neusalza, at the border between Saxony (Germany) and Czechia.

Most of the sketches of Rudolf Hünlich show landscapes, probably from the area around Spremberg-Neusalza, although I don’t know this for sure. The drawing above is from the sketch book. I am planning to publish Rudolf Hünlich’s drawings here bit by bit.

My grandfather’s (Rolf Keller’s) actual name was not “Rolf” (that is a contracted nickname form) but “Wilhelm Rudolf”. The name Wilhem is his grandfather’s second name, the name Rudolf probably was given to him after this his uncle, and it might have delighted his mother that he also developed an artistic talent, so the name proved to be a fitting choice.

Pentecost Greeting Cards

Pfingstkarte 001

While in the US, Pentecost (or Whitsun) is only a church holiday and, as a consequence, only known to Christians, in Germany, where it is called “Pfingsten”, it is a public holiday and since the following Monday (called “Pfingstmontag”) is also a holiday, even non-Christians know it. As a result, people (used to) send each other greating cards, even if the religious connection is not always there, as is the case in these examples. They obviously belong to the same style and series as the New Year greeting cards shown here, designed by Rolf Keller in 1956 for the publisher Lederbogen Verlag.

Pfingstkarte 002

I don’t know where Rolf Keller took the motives for these cards, but it was likely somewhere in the Erzgebirge mountains south of Chemnitz, where he was living.

Zooming In and Zooming Out

My contribution to the cooperative blog project “Journey of a photograph”. The journey will be going on now…



Nerve impulses running down the spinal cord, triggering muscle cells – mitochondria pumping protons and electrons to provide the energy to move a muscle. The muscle contracts and the fingertip touches the release button, triggering a cascade of electronic signals, calculations, movements of electromechanical parts, chemical reactions inside a battery, a shutter opening, photons flashing inside and triggering chemical changes in the particles of the film. A myriad of smallest and shortest events and processes combine to produce that short “click” that indicates that a picture has been taken. The photographer looks away and her mind and eye turn on something else.

A short moment in her life. The moment she pressed the trigger of her camera. Clouds, trees or bushes, houses, the horizon, the sun. Motion blur. Lens Flair.

The photograph was shot while in motion, maybe from a train or a car. The hexagonal spots of lens flair…

View original post 2,852 more words