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Emil Orlik

ORLIK, EMIL (1870–1932), German painter and graphic designer. Orlik was born in Prague, son of a highly assimilated German Jewish family, and baptized in his youth. He studied in Munich and traveled widely in three continents. From 1903 until his death he was a teacher at the Arts and Crafts Academy in Berlin. Though he made numerous paintings, he was primarily a master draftsman and an accomplished printmaker, who excelled in woodcuts, etchings, and lithographs. Orlik was particularly successful in his portraits of celebrated contemporaries. Orlik is also known as graphic artist and stage designer. Furthermore, because of his East Asia and Japan journeys in 1900/01 and in 1912, he paved the way for the modern color woodcut in Germany. A prolific and indefatigable worker, he left hundreds of prints and thousands of drawings. After his death, the Kunstverein in Cologne honored him with a memorial exhibition, despite the fact that the Nazi era had already begun. Orlik's estate might have been destroyed had not his brother-in-law, a banker of Prague, managed to transfer the works to Czechoslovakia, where they were hidden in a house in the woods near Prague for many years. His better-known graphic works are collected in 95 Koepfe von Orlik (1920), Handzeichnungen (1924), and Kleine Aufsaetze (1924).


M. Osborn, Emil Orlik (Ger., 1920). ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: B. Ahrens, "Denn die Bühne ist der Spiegel der Zeit," Emil Orlik (18701932) und das Theater (2001); Juedisches Museum Wien and O. Rychlik, Emil Orlik. Prag, Wien, Berlin, Exhibition Catalog Vienna (1997); S. Kuwabara, Emil Orlik, ein Porträtist des geistigen Berlin (1998); E. Otto and B. Ahrens (eds.), Emil Orlik (1997); E. Otto and B. Ahrens (eds.), Emil Orlik (1997).

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.