Arthur Paunzen Biography

Arthur Paunzen

Austrian

1890-1940

Biography

Arthur Paunzen was born on 4 February, 1890 Vienna, Austria to Leopold Paunzen and Hermine née Kuhn. He studied with Ludwig Koch in Vienna. He also studied in France at Académie Julian under Jean Pierre Laurens and traveled Italy studying art and architecture which was very common for his time. In 1918 Paunzen married Cornelia Westreich (1894-1971) in Vienna.

Paunzen created a number of works that make bold symbolic attempts to convey music as images. For instance depicting Beethoven’s Eroica (Third) Symphony as nude horse backed trumpeters in the sky surrounded by clouds flanked by a "stony faced" trumpeter who might very well be death. Also, his series based on Gustav Mahler's song cycle, the "Song of the Earth" or the etchings he created for Raskolnikov. Many of his pieces were collected by the British Museum, the Stockholm Engraving Collection and the Albertina Museum in Vienna.

In June of 1938, as Hitler rose to power, Paunzen emigrated to Great Britain. Arthur Paunzen died on 9 August 1940, in Central Internment Camp, Douglas, Isle of Man. (In a panic measure, the British authorities interned all German and Austrian citizens in the country, including all those who were Jews fleeing Nazi oppression, in May 1940.)

His death was described by his friend and fellow-internee, the composer Hans Gál, in his internment diary. Paunzen died of severe bronchial pneumonia, exacerbated, according to Gál's account, by neglect on the part of the authorities. He is buried in the Jewish section of Douglas Borough Cemetery, Isle of Man.