Mathilde Pajeken – Small Sketch Book 1

kleines Skizzenbuch 1

The painter Mathilde Pajeken, a great-grandaunt of me, left a sketch book to us. The book is quite small, about 8.2 by 11.8 centimeters. It contains sketches (in most cases pencil) that where probably made during a trip to northern Germany. A few of these sketches are dated with a day and month, but unfortunately, there is no year given. The first sketches show several ladies and by the dresses and outfits, I would suspect the sketches where made in the 1890s or shortly thereafter. Many of the sketches show sailing boats (most of them probably fishing vessels) or other boats and ships and some coastal landscapes. In some cases the place is indicated, for example “Helgoland” which is an island in the North Sea. As far as we know, Mathilde Pajeken, originally from Bremen in northern Germany, was living in Munich, which is in the south. It is possible that all of these sketches were made during a single trip to northern Germany. We don’t know whether the sketches of ladies on the first pages of the sketch book where made during the same trip or before. These might be people she knew in Munich, but just as well they might be people she met on the train.

On the inside of the book’s cover, there are some notes that seem to be names, but we do not know if they belong to these ladies or are totally unrelated notes.

The first sketch in the book can be seen here. This type of dress, with puffed sleeves, seems to be typical for the 1890s. This is the main evidence that the sketches date to that time.


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.