Fritz Wucherer (1873 – 1948)
On the occasion of Fritz Wucherer’s 150th birthday, the Kronberger Malerkolonie Foundation is presenting a comprehensive exhibition on the work of this versatile artist.
The three cities of Kronberg, Frankfurt and Paris were Fritz Wucherer’s most important places of work and are therefore the focus of this show of around 70 works on loan from public and private collections.
Fritz Wucherer was born in Basel on 8 March 1873 as the eldest son of the merchant Lorenz Ferdinand Wucherer and his wife Johanna, née Scholler. In 1877 the family moved to Frankfurt, where Fritz Wucherer first took private drawing lessons with the landscape painter Josef Müller. After his school education he visited the studio of Anton Burger in Kronberg from 1892 to 95. To complete his studies he left for Paris in 1895, where he stayed until 1897. There Wucherer came into contact with Eugen Jettel and Eugène Boudin. Camille Corot and Charles Daubigny were among his idols. During the summer months he moved to nearby Houilles, to Barbizon and he also had a studio in Auvers-sur-Oise. This early phase of his work was clearly influenced by the Barbizon school and French Impressionism in terms of his choice of motifs and use of colour. Before returning to Frankfurt he studied nude and figure drawing at the Académie Julian in Paris for three months.
In 1898 he joined the Frankfurt artists’ society around Hans Thoma. On Thoma’s advice, Wucherer experimented with the technique of lithography. One year later he finally moved to Kronberg.
After his first successes with colour-intensive studio pictures and harmonious impressions of nature, Wucherer certainly became the most productive artist in Kronberg. His preferred motifs included atmospheric landscapes, picturesque corners and colourful city views.
Having reached the height of his creative powers, Wucherer became interested in technical achievements after the turn of the century. This turning point in the artist’s choice of motifs is closely connected with the International Aviation Exhibition in Frankfurt in 1909 with depictions of the festival hall and airships. Pictures of technically innovative industrial buildings also followed. In 1913, for example, he was commissioned to document the demolition and construction of the Old Bridge in Frankfurt.
In 1917 he was a soldier on the Vosges Front and returned to Kronberg in 1918. Wucherer spent the war years 1942-44 in Großgmain in Austria and in Deggingen in the Swabian Alb. In 1946 he returned to Kronberg, where he died in 1948.
Fritz Wucherer, Poppy Field, Paris 1897, oil/white, private collection