Rudolf Hünlich – Old Woman


A drawing (mixed media, probably ink and black and white pastels, ca. 29 x 22 cm. The original is a bit darker, on grey paper) showing an elderly woman. The caption reads “R. Huenlich d. 10/5 02”. (probably that is May 10th 1902). Rudolf Hünlich was born about 1880, being the youngest brother of the four children of the Hünlich family (his older brother was born in 1878), so the other reading of the date, as “82” is impossible (see So Hünlich, who died aged 24, was probably around 20 years old or in his early 20s when he made this drawing.

Hünlich was a xylographer, a graphics artist making wood engravings. This background shows in his approach to shading, as you can see if you look at the drawing close up. Besides dark color (black pastel or something similar) the shading effect is achieved with the density of lines, probably made with a pen.

The woman shown on the drawing is probably one of his aunts. There is a photograph showing members of the Hünlich family, with two men (one of them probably a brother of Rudolf Hünlich’s father) and three women. The women resemble each other, so they are probably sisters, and they all look more or less like the woman on this drawing, so probably the pictured woman is one of them. She was probably a sister in law of Rudolf Hünlich’s father, or one of her sisters. The name of one of these women was probably “Anette” (or some similar name), so that might be her name. Most members of the Hünlich family seem to have been weavers. It is possible that more genealogical research  into the Hünlich family (which would have to be conducted in Neusalza-Spremberg where they were living) is going to reveal more about this woman (and about the exact dates of Rudolf Hünlich’s life), but at this moment, that is all I know.


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.

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.