Sabine Lepsius

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Sabine Lepsius
Self-portrait by Sabine Lepsius.jpg
Self-portrait of Sabine Lepsius in 1885.
Auguste Sabine Graef

(1864-01-15)January 15, 1864
Berlin, Germany
DiedNovember 22, 1942(1942-11-22) (aged 78)
Bayreuth, Germany
Known forPainting
Spouse(s)Reinhold Lepsius
Portrait of Stefan George at the Stefan George Museum in Bingen am Rhein

Sabine Lepsius (15 January 1864, Berlin – 22 November 1942, Bayreuth) was a German portrait painter.[1]


She was the daughter of portrait painter Gustav Graef and Franziska Liebreich (1824-1893), a lithographer. She studied with her father and, in 1892, married the painter Reinhold Lepsius. She and her husband were held in equal regard and were very popular with the business community and the wealthy. Her brother was the art historian Botho Graef.

She was also a close friend and follower of Stefan George.[2] Her son Stefan (1897-1917), who was killed in World War I, was named after him. She published a book about their friendship in 1935; where she attributed her brother Botho's fatal heart attack to the news of her son's death.

Lepsius exhibited her work at the Woman's Building at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.[3]

Her salon in Berlin-Westend was considered a major social gathering point. Georg Simmel, Wilhelm Dilthey, August Endell and Rainer Maria Rilke were among those who attended. She was one of the founding members of the Berlin Secession and exhibited with them until 1913.

Most of her approximately 280 portraits were of people in the Jewish community and were lost or destroyed during World War II.[4]


  • Vom deutschen Lebensstil; Leipzig: Seemann & Co. 1916
  • Stefan George : Geschichte einer Freundschaft. Berlin: Verlag Die Runde 1935
  • Ein Berliner Künstlerleben um die Jahrhundertwende :Erinnerungen; Munich: G. Müller 1972

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Benezit Dictionary of Artists
  2. ^ Annette Dorgerloh, "Sie war wenigstens amüsant". Sabine Lepsius und Stefan George – eine Freundschaft "sans phrase"?, in: Ute Oelmann, Ulrich Raulff (eds.), Frauen um Stefan George, Wallstein, Göttingen 2010, Pgs. 104–116. ISBN 978-3-8353-0513-7
  3. ^ Nichols, K. L. "Women's Art at the World's Columbian Fair & Exposition, Chicago 1893". Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  4. ^ A. Rittmann: Sabine Lepsius, in: AKL, 2014, S. 175

Further reading[edit]

  • Irmgard Wirth: Berliner Malerei im 19. Jahrhundert; Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1990, ISBN 3-572-10011-9, pg.349.
  • Ruth Glatzer: Das Wilhelminische Berlin; Siedler Verlag, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-88680-561-1, pg.192.
  • Annette Dorgerloh: Das Künstlerehepaar Lepsius. Zur Berliner Porträtmalerei um 1900. Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-05-003722-9 (Digitalized by Google Books)
  • Annette Dogerloh: Sabine Lepsius. In: Britta Jürgs: Denn da ist nichts mehr, wie es die Natur gewollt. Portraits von Künstlerinnen und Schriftstellerinnen um 1900. AvivA Verlag, Berlin, 2001, ISBN 3-932338-13-8; pgs.216-232

External links[edit]