Philipp Franck Biography

Philipp Franck





Philipp Franck was born on April 9, 1860 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. With the help of his father Franck initially began training as an architect at the Frankfurt trade school. After the death of his father Franck broke off this training and devoted himself to his passion of painting. At age 17 he went to the Städel Art Institute and became a pupil of Heinrich Hasselhorst and Eduard Jakob von Steinle. Under the guidance Steinle Franck began to illustrate romantic fairy tales.


In 1879 Franck went to Kronberg im Taunus and joined the local artists' colony. There he made friends with Anton Burger, with whom he also took private lessons until1881. Franck had his own views about how to depict nature, and decided to attend the Dusseldorf Art Academy at the advice of painter Jakob Fürchtegott Dielmann. He remained there until 1886 during which time he also became a student of Eduard Gebhardt and Eugen Dücker.

After the years of study Franck decided it was time to travel. He travelled first to Würzburg, to settle there as a painter. After disappointing years in Würzburg, he decided to move to Berlin, where he became one of the most important figures of the art world at that time. During this period he exhibited with Lovis Corinth and Max Liebermann, founders of the Berlin Secession.


 In 1906 Franck moved with his family from Halensee to the Wannsee. His intentions were to establish an artists’ colony using the Kronberg model, however, it soon failed. During this experiment a number of his works were created directly in the wild. Important and frequent motifs in his paintings and watercolors are, in addition to portraits and family portraits, the Wannsee and motifs from the Taunus.

His first wife died in 1902. Two years later, in 1904, he married a student of the art school, Martha Kuhlo. Philipp Franck had four children from his two marriages.

In 1944 at the age of 83 years, Philipp Franck died in Berlin on March 13. He was the father of the chemist Hans Heinrich Franck and the architect Carl Ludwig Franck, the grandfather of the sculptor Ingeborg Hunzinger and the great-grandfather of the writer Julia Franck.