Arthur Bendrat Biography

Arthur Bendrat




German painter and printmaker Arthur Bendrat was born on April 22, 1872, in Gdansk (then called Danzig), Poland, the son of a ship's captain. His interest in art formed at an early age and he took several apprenticeships in the visual arts, first as a teen at the Danzig City Theater working as a set painter and then at the Arts and Crafts school under Bernhard Sturmhoefel, beginning in the early 1890s. His formal art education took place at the Dresden Academy from 1895 to 1902 under Frederich Preller the Elder and Gotthardt Kuehl. It was at the Academy that he won his first gold medal for painting at the Great Saxon State Prize exhibition in 1899. Following graduation he was encouraged by fellow artist and friend Berthold Hellingrath to establish a studio in Dresden, Germany, a prophetic directive that led to Bendradt's eventual success as a German artist.

By 1900 Bendrat was exhibiting regularly at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition and with the Die Elbier Dresden artists' group, of which he was a member. By the 1910s he was exhibiting in Milan and Paris as well as the major cities of Germany, and he had developed a reputation as a leading German artist whose subject matter - German city life and landscapes - was a celebration of his homeland. Before long he was commissioned by several municipalities to paint such works for government buildings and was also hired to create four frescoes for the district of Obernitz.

In addition to his reputation as a leading painter he also became one of the first artists to utilize large-format lithography as fine, rather than commercial, art. He produced several large color lithographs of views of German cities and towns, which helped further his popularity and allowed for his work to be further disseminated. He was also commissioned to illustrate several children's books, including Charlotte Muensterberg's Four Fairy Tales (1906) and Kathe Schirmacher's Danziger Bilder (1908). 

Sadly, by 1911 Bendrat's mental health was in decline, and his artistic output came to a halt. He died in a sanitorium in Neucoswig on March 2, 1914.