Else Berg (1877-1942)
View of Notre Dame, Paris
Charcoal on paper
Signed lower right
Dimensions: 36 x 25 cm
Else Berg, born in Ratibor (Silesia), grew up in a liberal Jewish family. She began her art education in Berlin, where she met her future life partner Mommie Schwarz in 1909. Together they traveled to Paris to witness the modernization of art, after which they settled permanently in Amsterdam in 1910.
This drawing was created during this period. She drew the church from the Quai de la Tournelle. A notable detail is the absence of the central tower. Initially depicted by Else Berg, it was later removed, seemingly due to her finding it disruptive to the composition.
Else Berg lived a life of artistic collaboration and travel with Mommie Schwarz. Despite financial challenges, they made numerous trips to various European destinations, influencing her diverse styles ranging from luminism and cubism to fauvism. The trip to Mallorca in 1914, along with Leo Gestel and his wife An, resulted in more cubist works of art.
Berg's oeuvre, which includes landscapes, portraits, nudes, and scenes of everyday life, shows affinity with expressionism, luminism, and cubism. She drew inspiration from esoterica and spirituality, combining theosophical symbols with Christian elements.
Despite the increasing danger during the rise of the Nazis, Berg and Schwarz initially felt safe in Amsterdam. However, after their arrest on November 12, 1942, they were deported via Westerbork to Auschwitz, where they both were killed on November 19, 1942. Else Berg's diverse and unique body of work was only later recognized, with exhibitions at the Frans Hals Museum in 1989 and the Jewish Historical Museum in 2012.
Else Berg - View of Notre Dame, Paris
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