Villa Strohl-Fern, March 1892 - October 1896

See this book by Giovanna Caterina de Feo (2010) on Alfred Wilhelm Strohl-Fern and the list of artists who worked at the Villa at one point in their life.

Thomas Cool (1851-1904) 
Curt (Kurt) Stoeving (Stöving) (1863-1939)
Emil Fuchs (1866-1929)
Wilhelm Kumm (1861-1939+?) 
Paul Peterich (1864-1937)
Kuhn (?)

1894, photograph at Villa Strohl-Fern, likely taken by Strohl-Fern himself, left to right: Paul Peterich (best guess), Berber Cool-Kylstra, Gerardina (Dinchen), Thomas Cool (TC1851), Tine (Tinchen), Wilhelm Kumm.

This note discusses some contacts by TC1851 with other artists in the Villa in 1895 (other than the Dutch artists who were not at Villa Strohl-Fern:  Pier Pander and Romolo Koelman). Traces can be found on the internet in 2010.

  • Dr. Zacher, in the Frankfürter Zeiting 1895 about Villa Strohl-Fern, mentions artists Stöving and Fuchs. Just their last names and prime art, but with their location at that time and place we can trace them. Indeed, there now are hard data from AdK.
  • In TC1851's papers we find contacts with Hamburg sculptor Wilhelm Kumm, Curt Stöving and a "P. Petrich" whom we find must be Paul Peterich. Kumm is also confirmed in those hard data.
  • Wagenvoort 1909 mentions a sculptor Kuhn. He cannot be traced yet. He is not mentioned by TC1851 himself. Perhaps Wagenvoort is confused, he also writes "Kümm". Perhaps Wagenvoort means Fuchs, Peterich or Stöving; and there is a Fuchs -> Kuhn or Curt -> Kuhn or even Paul -> Kuhn misunderstanding.
  • Tine's book does not mention names but we analyze that Fuchs is the beefsteak German (though from Vienna), Peterich the younger and Kumm the elder of the two young German sculptors.
TC1851 chose to be a painter at a young age but was familiar with sculpting, both from his training with De Keyser in 1869 and from working in his father's marble company. He came to Rome on his own finances, the other artists were younger and came with earned stipends and prizes.

The article by dr. Zacher 

The article by dr. Albert Zacher is in the Frankfürter Zeiting June 9 1895 and it is translated into Dutch in the Leeuwarder Courant August 12 1895. 

He mentions the Prusian portrait painter ("Pruisische portretschilder") Stoeving and the Vienna sculptor ("Weener beeldhouwer") Fuchs. The latter urges him to visit the neighbour across ("gij zult toch ook mijn overbuur bezoeken?"). Zacher relates that Stoever greatly admires Cool as well ("van wien ook mr Stoeving met groot vereering gesproken had" - note the "as well").

Zacher himself is likely the author of "Rome as an art city", London, A. Siegle, 1905, Langham series; an illustrated collection of art monographs, ed. by Selwyn Brinton [vol. 10], also published as "Rom als Kunststaette", 1907, von Albert Zacher (1861-); mit zwölf Vollbildern. Berlin] Bard, Marquardt & co. The book apparently can be ordered again, but also at abebooks.

PM. Michigan mentions also his other book on the 50th anniversity of the new state of Italy. Barnes & Noble have "Was die Campagna erzaelt" (1923) and "Aus Vatikan und Quirinal: Bilder vom Nebeneinanderleben der beiden Höse" (1901).

Villa Strohl-Fern

Strohl felt exiled from Alace and added the "Fern". Also written as Strohl - Fern, Strohl Fern, Strohlfern, Strohl fern or Strohl -fern. It is not known whether the villa was as lush in 1895 as later and now. There is an Associazione Amici di Villa Strohl-Fern. "L’associazione si occupa dello Studio n.12 del pittore Francesco Trombadori e dell’archivio suo personale ivi custodito", via di Villa Ruffo, 31 - 00196 Roma. The chair is taken by Donatella Trombadori. Apparently Francesco's son Antonello Trombadori had a great youth in the villa in 1920, just like Tine Cool in 1895, daughter of TC1851. In Tine's book p117 she relates that Strohl-Fern makes a photograph of her and her sister under an almond tree.

Its current location (google map) is at Lycée Chateaubriand, Rome. See also these pictures. The official text: "This villa was built between 1879 and the end of the nineteenth century by the Alsatian nobleman Alfred Wilhelm Strohl, who was exiled from his homeland after the Franco-Prussian war. Little is known of his involvement in the construction of the villa, but he probably was directly responsible for the layout of the large, well-structured Park, as this was planned with the particular aim of creating a universe within itself, and is a rare example in Rome of a romantic garden. The entrance is flanked by false stalactites and water spouts, and the Neogothic buildings and elegant, two-storey chalets are reminiscent of nineteenth-century German style. Everything is set in a park with attractive views and archaeological finds laid out along the avenues. The park also boasts artificial “natural” features such as cement trees, fountains adorned with stalactites, fish pools, false grottoes (and real ones), covered bridges between sections of land at different levels, and an artificial lake with a cement boat on its bank. The villa became a refuge for Italian and foreign artists, who lived in the studies Strohl built: the one used by Francesco Trombadori has been conserved. On Strohl Fern’s death, he left explicit instructions that the property pass to the French State. Since 1957 it has been the home of the René Chateaubriand school. The entrance to the villa is in viale Madama Letizia (Villa Borghese)."

The book "Gli Artisti di Villa Strohl-Fern tra simbolismo e Novecento : Galleria Arco Farnese, Roma, 28 aprile-10 giugno 1983" deals with the 1900's (and not the 19th century). Here are some more books.

Strohl left the property to the French state and there is a fund for Swiss artists

The German Academy rented rooms in Strohl-Fern for its prize winning artists, and later built their own Villa Massimo: "Die österreichischen Künstler hatten Ateliers im Palazzo Venezia und die preußischen Künstler kamen zunächst in der Gesandtschaft auf dem Kapitol, später in Ateliers der Villa Strohl-Fern unter, die durch die Berliner Akademie der Künste angemietet wurden."

Curt Stoeving 1863-1939

Curt (Kurt) Stoeving (Stöving) (1863-1939), and I adopt the spelling from here

The wikipedia article and this main page about him do not mention Strohl-Fern. But "1892 ehrenvolle Anerkennung auf der Berliner Akademie" - and it seems almost impossible that he would not be the same person. Apparently he was a teacher in painting of architecture so we can imagine his interest in TC1851. The articles show his many talents and indeed portait painting. Stoeving made a portrait and death mask of Friedrich Nietzsche. This is the portrait he made of TC1851.

Apparently TC1851 made a trip with him to Basel and Strasbourg (notebook: "1897 Basel Straatsburg C. Stöving reis gemaakt").

See the hard data. Stoeving is located at the Villa in 1895, which is after 1893 when in all likelyhood the statues of Dien and Tine were made. Possibly Wagenvoort mishears "Curt" as "Kuhn".

Emil Fuchs (1866-1929)

The following is a summary of a longer text.

Fuchs wrote also the book "With Pencil, Brush and Chisel" (Putnam NY 1925) and mentions on page 187: "As in the good old days at the Villa Strohl Fern in Rome, I lounged about in the garden (...)". Earlier in the book we find that his 1891 Prix de Rome first sets him in the offical location on Monte Parioli, (p24) (not one of the original seven hills) and then he rents himself "nearby" (p26). The book does not mention TC1851.

Here we find: "Vienna-born American artist EMIL FUCHS (1866-1929) studied in Vienna and at the Royal Academy in London before coming to the U.S. in 1905. A prolific sculptor (Fuchs created a number of medals that remain highly collectible today), he also enjoyed celebrity as a portraitist of English and American "high society" figures."

This is the biography at the Tate Gallery: "Austrian sculptor, medallist and painter, born in Vienna. Studied under the sculptor Hellmer at the Vienna Academy, and under Schaper and von Werner at the Academy in Berlin. Won the Rome Prize in 1891 and spent 1891-7 in Rome. Then lived in London 1897-1915, receiving many commissions from society and aristocratic patrons, including Queen Victoria and King Edward VII; designed, among other things, the King Edward VII postage stamps and the Coronation medal. Made portrait busts, medals, statuettes, memorials, etc. First began to work in oil in 1897, under the guidance of Sargent, and subsequently painted many portraits of English and American sitters. First one-man exhibition at the Grafton Galleries, London, 1902. Settled in New York in 1915. Autobiography With Pencil, Brush and Chisel published 1925. Died in New York."

His postage stamp got some fun comments in Time magazine (1925).

These are works at the National Portait Gallery, and this page lists some other works, notably in the USA

According to the hard data, Fuchs was in the Villa in 1892/93 and possibly a bit longer. He would be present when the statues of Dien and Tine are made. Possibly Wagenvoort mishears "Fuchs" as "Kuhn". Fuchs is not mentioned by TC1851 but Kuhn neither.

Wilhelm Kumm (1861 -1939+?)

Apparently also spelled (William ?) Kumm (in English) - apparently Kuemm is not used. PM. Some members of the Cool family write Kümm and Petrich, while he himself uses Kumm and Peterich.

Kumm was a good friend of TC1851 - as is also mentioned by Wagenvoort in 1909. When TC1851 dies in 1904, his son Gerrit still visits Kumm in Hamburg, and Kumm reacts for an exhibition in 1930 in The Hague:

Liebe Frau Cool!                           Hamburg, 12 Juni 1930. 

Ich war sehr erfreut von Gerrit [son of TC1851 / TC1954] zu hören, dasz nun doch die Ausstellung von Cools schönen Gemäldere in Den Haag zu stande gekommen ist. Ich wünsche Ihnen Austellung viel, viel Glück dazu. Tinchen wird wohl viel Mühe damiet gehabt haben. Nun hoffenlich wird es von dem Richtigen gesehen, der den Stein in Rollen bringt. Einmal musz der Erfolg doch kommen, das steht für mich auszer Frage. Ich bin mit meiner Kunst auch weiter gekommen. Es ist alles noch viel lichter geworden. Mehr Licht! darum dreht sich bei mir alles. Die Farbe habe ich noch wesentlich reducirt, so dasz die menschliche Figur gang und gar vom Licht umgeben als visionäre Marmer plastik erscheint. 

Das Wetter ist hier augenblicklich wie es nicht schöner sein kann. Hoffentlich bei Ihnen ebenso. Ihnen und Frau Tinchen [daughter of TC1851, whom Kumm made a bust of / TC1954] noch viel Gutes wünschend vor allen in Hinsicht auf die Austellung, begrüsze ich Beide auf's herzlichste. 

Ihr Wilhelm Kumm

Links found are mainly artnet and this bronze pic1 or bronze pic2.

Kumm is mentioned in the hard data in the right period 1893/94 and also on the statue of "Tinchen". 

In January 1938 Kumm, probably feeling that his end is nearing, writing as neat as he can as an old man, and probably wary that Peterich died in 1937, sends the family this statement (jpeg):

Meine Begegnung met Tom Cool

Die wertvollste Anregung für meine visionäre Plastik war die Begegnung mit dem genialen [H]olländischen Maler Tom Cool dem Ueber-Rembrandt, der als Erster das Lichtphänomen vor Rembrandt in seiner Einfachheit (ohne Figuren) gepackt hat und daraus seine herrlichen Werke geschaffen hat. Tom Cool’s Bilder haben vor allen das Höchste, was den Künstlern immer vorges[c]hwebt haben, jene tiefe Einsamkeit, die seinem Bildern den höchsten Wert verleiht [.] Ihn hat Patheon nar Rom gezogen, wo er aus dem Inneren in schöner Beleuchtung ein herrliches Werk geschaffen hat. Von da hat er dann eine ganze Reihe von schönere Werken geschaffen. Ich selbst habe eine schöne Skizze von Inneren des Mailänder Doms. Prof. Peterich besitzt ein monumental wirkendes Gemälde vom Aüszen des Patheon. 
 Ich bin nachdem ich ein Jahr in Rom mit Tom Cool zusammen war, und wo ich alle Streiffahrten mitmachte, dann später in enger Freundschaft bis zu seinem frühen Fode [Tode] zusammen geblieben. Auch auf einer Tournee mit seinen Werken durch Deutschland begleitete ich ihn. Die Gemälde worden dabei ganz gut recensiert, jedoch de eigentliche Bedeutung von Tom Cool hat damals auch k[e]iner erkannt.

Wilhelm Kumm
Januari 1938

Kumm, date unknown

PM. Surprisingly, a Google on Emil Fuchs and Curt Stoeving did not generate their photographs or self-portraits. Kumm' s photograph is taken from the family album. A picture of Peterich is pending.

Hopefully not related to the Otto Kumm (Hamburg 1909-2004) of the Waffen-SS, who helped invade The Netherlands in 1940.

Hamburger sculptor Kuhn ?

Kuhn cannot be traced that easily. Wagenvoort states that he would be a Hamburger sculptor like Kumm, but possibly this is not correct, and possibly spelled as Kühn. The internet gives many Kuhns but no good candidate and no link to Strohl-Fern. 

Thieme-Becker 1928 gives a Richard Kühn, b 1867 Koenigsberg, Bildhauer in Berlin, student at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Berlin, like Kumm and Peterich, who also becomes a teacher there. There is no evidence of a stay in Rome, and no information of a relation to Elsbeth Kühn, b 1876 Dessau, whom Peterich married. 

Most likely Wagenvoort confuses "Curt" (Stoeving) with "Kuhn". We find that Kumm and Peterich are frequently together, and this is explained also in a passage in Tine's book. Kumm uses his 1888 prize to take along Peterich to Paris, Peterich uses his 1890 prize to take along Kumm to Rome, and Kumm's 1892 prize only legitimizes his stay there.

See the hard data from the archives in Berlin. See this discussion.

Paul Peterich (1864-1937)

Wikipedia on Paul Peterich: "1884 erhielt er vom Großherzog von Oldenburg ein Stipendium zum Besuch der Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg und der Kunstakademie in Berlin." Thus there is a link to Kumm / Hamburg, and Berlin / Villa Strohl-Fern - though it is not yet known directly that he was in Villa Strohl-Fern, though the RKD database mentions that he worked in Rome in 1890, which is confirmed by Georg Harders book on Peterich. 

There is "The Documented image: visions in art history" by Gabriel P. Weisberg et al., Syracuse University Press 1987, and there Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu on page 141 mentions "Wilhelm Kumm (b. 1861)" as a visitor in 1897 of the Frans Hals Museum, in the company of "Paul Peterich (b. 1864)". (The visitors understandably hesitate to mention their dates of death.)

TC1851's notes mention a trip to London in 1897 with Kumm and a third person. It seems likely that the sculptors visited the museum and TC1851, and the three went off to London. On the other hand, TC1851 also mentions a trip in that same year 1897 with Stoeving to Strasbourg and Basel. (PM. Fuchs moved to London in 1897 too. It is not clear whether there was still contact.)

Peterich married Elsbeth Kühn. Possibly she had a brother Kuhn who was also a sculptor ? With this uncertainty on Kuhn and since it is currently unknown whether Peterich really was in Villa Strohl-Fern, see this longer discussion.

PM. Peterich' son Lucas Hermann Peterich (1902-1985) is a painter in Holland and Switzerland. He marries Flora van Beuningen, daughter of the wealthy SHV treader. The family does a donation to Boymans Museum, causing its name Boymans - Van Beuningen. Their son Peter Paul Peterich (1933-2000) creates some funds, see the Foundation Van Beuningen/Peterich Fund.and the Peter Paul Peterich Fund. See Lucas's role in the Koenig case during World War II. Possibly the early connection of Paul Peterich with TC1851 helped induce Lucas to settle in Holland, and the last three years of his life Paul Peterich spent in Holland probably with Lucas. Perhaps the 3 paintings that TC1851 gave to Paul Peterich are still somewhere in the Peterich family or in Boymans - Van Beuningen; and they might know more about Wilhelm Kumm.

Paul Peterich, from wikipedia

Likely Paul Peterich, 1894, from the above.

Pro memori

Apparently, the character "Duco van der Staal" in Couperus book "The inevitable" (1900) has been inspired by TC1851 too. The marital affair however is entirely its author's imagination; it is not realistically about TC1851 anyhow.

Pander concentrated on sculpting; Broersma does not mention Stoeving, Fuchs, Peterich, Kumm nor Kuhn. Pander's archive was cleaned up by Clara de Kanter, and when on loan to the Leeuwarder Courant, was lost in an attic fire.

The Trombadori book mentions that Mikhail Vrubel (1856-1910) stayed till Summer 1892. Thus there is the period from March 1892 that the artist might have bumped into each other. However, it is now clear that TC1851's wife and children arrived in May and first stayed at another place before moving to the Villa. So perhaps they took over Vrubel's studio.