Walter Leistikow

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Walter Leistikow
Walter Leistikow, by Lovis Corinth, 1893.jpg
Walter Leistikow, portrait by Lovis Corinth, 1893
Walter Rudolf Leistikow

(1865-10-25)25 October 1865
Died24 July 1908(1908-07-24) (aged 42)
EducationHermann Eschke, Hans Fredrik Gude
MovementBerlin Secession

Walter Rudolf Leistikow (1865-1908) was a German landscape painter, graphic artist, designer and art critic.


His father was a pharmacist who owned a Kräuterlikör manufacturing plant in Kujawien that provided much of the family's income. In 1883, aged seventeen, he moved to Berlin to attend the Prussian Academy of Art, but after barely one year, he was dismissed by Anton von Werner for lack of talent. He then took private lessons from Hermann Eschke and Hans Gude from 1885 to 1887.

His first exhibition was at the Berliner Salon in 1886 and, in 1892 he became a member of an artists' association known as Die-XI (Vereinigung der XI [de]), which was opposed to the teaching methods at the Academy. He also designed furniture, carpets and wallpapers. In 1902, he was chosen to create trading cards for the Stollwerck chocolate company of Cologne and produced a series of German landscapes.[1]

For a time, he tried to become a writer, publishing a novella called Seine Cousine (1893) in the Freie Bühne and a novel, Auf der Schwelle (1896), but they received little attention.[2] To make matters worse, Kaiser Wilhelm II despised his pictures and was quoted as saying "er hat mir den ganzen Grunewald versaut" (he has ruined the entire Grunewald for me).[3]

In 1894, he married Anna Mohr (1863-1950), a merchant's daughter from Copenhagen. In 1903, he was one of the co-founders of the Deutscher Künstlerbund.[4]

By 1908, he was dying from the agonizing effects of advanced-stage syphilis. He committed suicide by shooting himself while staying at the Sanatorium Hubertus on the Schlachtensee. Shortly after, a street in Berlin's Westend district was named after him.[5] In 1920, a street in the Mahlsdorf district was named after him as well. He was later given an ehrengrab at the cemetery in Steglitz. A commemorative stamp was issued in 1972, with one of his paintings of the Schlachtensee .

Selected paintings[edit]


  1. ^ Detlef Lorenz: Reklamekunst um 1900. Künstlerlexikon für Sammelbilder. Reimer, Berlin 2000, ISBN 978-3-496-01220-7.
  2. ^ Walter Leistikow: Auf der Schwelle. Schuster & Loeffler, Berlin 1896. / als Reprint: Arzneimittel-Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-921687-32-1.
  3. ^ Clark, Christopher. Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia, 1600-1947. Penguin Books. p. 691. ISBN 978-0-141-90402-3.
  4. ^ Ordentliche Mitglieder des Deutschen Künstlerbundes seit der Gründung 1903 / Leistikow, Walter (Vorstandsmitglied) Archived 2017-02-24 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Leistikowstrasse in Kauperts Straßenführer durch Berlin

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]