Engelbert Lap Biography

Engelbert Lap





Engelbert Lap, watercolorist, draughtsman, book illustrator, and printmaker, was born in Graz, Austria on 19 October 1886. Lap began his training in a military secondary school and then went to the Theresian Military Academy at Wiener Neustadt. After graduating, he joined the Tyrolean Kaiserjaeger as a lieutenant in 1907. He fought on the Galicia and Dolomites fronts during World War I. Lap retired from the military in 1923 and settled in Innsbruck where he had moved in 1910. In 1924 he began dedicating himself to art, first exploring watercolor and then transitioning to the color woodcut. His woodcut technique was based upon the Japanese tradition and he used up to ten blocks and sixteen colors. Tyrol, a state in western Austria known for its ski resorts, historic sites and folk traditions, was the locale of many of his color woodcuts; the Alps dominate Tyrol as they dominate his imagery.

Lap’s work was included in an exhibition of Tyrolean artist in 1925-26 which traveled to seven German cities. He was also included in the Tyrolean art exhibition at the Vienna Secession in 1927 and was included in the 1930 exhibition Modern Austrian Woodcuts and Color Prints at the Brooklyn Museum. This exhibition featured a large collection of works by each artist which included Hans and Leo Frank, Switbert Lobisser, Alois Leopold Seibold, Elfrida Miller, Engelbert Lap, and Norbertine von Breslern-Roth. His color woodcut After the Rain is mentioned on page 143 in Malcolm C. Salaman’s The Woodcut of To-Day At Home and Abroad, 1927. Solo exhibitions of his color woodcuts took place in Innsbruck in 1921, 1936, 1939, 1951, 1954, and 1966.

The work of Engelbert Lap is represented in the permanent collections of the British Museum, London; the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minnesota; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Klocker Museum, Tirol, Austria; and the Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington.

Engelbert Lap died 4 April 1970 in Innsbruck, Austria.

For more information on Engelbert Lap and to view a great body of his work, visit: Engelbert Lap