Martin Erich Philipp Biography

Martin Erich Philipp




Despite a seemingly prolific career, the life of graphic artist, painter, and printmaker Martin Erich Philipp was sparsely catalogued and little is known about his exhibitions or other professional or personal events. He was born in Zwickau, Germany in 1887 and showed an early gift for visual arts. He attended the Dresden Kunstgewerbeschule (Arts and Crafts School) from 1904 to 1907, with the intent of becoming a sculptor. However, he gravitated toward printmaking and took courses in woodcut and intaglio methods at the Kunstakademie from 1908 to 1913. He received a gold medal at the Leipzig Book Design and Graphics exhibition for a color woodcut almost immediately following graduation, and shortly thereafter began receiving commisions for illustrations.

Philipp's style was particularly influenced by the Jugendstil movement, Germany's Art Nouveau counterpart. He was known for his color woodcuts of animals, especially birds, and his intaglios of nudes and erotic ex libris; additionally, he was an equally accomplished watercolorist whose studies for future woodcuts are as richly hued as the woodcuts themselves.

Philipp married artist Else Stap in 1925 and two years later they had a daughter, though beyond this little is known of the two women. Philipp died in Dresden in 1978. A catalogue of Philipp's work has been in progress for some time by a print enthusiast known by his blog, "The Linosaurus," located in the Netherlands; his write-up regarding Philipps and Stap can be found here.