Saturday, January 5, 2013


Sabine Lepsius "Self-Portrait"  1885  Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Sabine Graef Lepsius (1864-1942) was a German painter, the sister of art historian/archaeologist Botho Graef and the daughter of painter Gustav Graef, who was her teacher. She completed this masterful self-portrait at age twenty-one, and went on to a long and successful career, focusing mainly on portraiture.  In 1902 she married artist Rienhold Lepsius, who also came from an intellectually distinguished family (Karl Lepsius, Reinhold's father, was a pioneer of modern Egyptology and Archaeology.)

Sabine and Reinhold seemed to have had a happy marriage and equally successful careers in the arts. They were well-known for their salon in Berlin, which  attracted many of the brightest minds of the day, including writer Rainer Maria Rilke and poet Stefan George. Sabine was an enthusiastic follower of George, and in 1935 her book about their friendship was published, Geschichte einer Freundschaft / Stefan George. In 1972 a posthumous book came out of her writings, mostly memoirs and correspondance, entitled Ein Berliner Künstlerleben um die Jahrhundertwende (An Artist Living in Berlin at the Turn of the Century.)


Nancy Bea Miller said...

I have to say, I wish I had that outfit, the little cutaway jacket in particular! Sort of coy and demure at the same time...a hard look to pull off. :-)

valerie walsh said...

i was just gonna say that!!! i love it and her story and her art!!!

Marianne said...

Insouciant with a little attitude! And I love the outfit, too!

Kate Stone said...

I love how carelessly graceful that hand is!