Monday, November 03, 2014

C. W. Allers draws Bob Openshaw

May I introduce you to Bob Openshaw. He is the subject of a three-headed portrait here by C. W. Allers. I was delighted to see the original of this and take these photos when visiting a friend and collector yesterday. The word 'Botany' appears among the signature and title and may refer to Botany Bay because this picture (pencil and pastel) was drawn in 1908 during a period of world-travel by the artist which included Australia. 'A period of world travel' is a little euphemistic, perhaps 'a period of self-imposed exile' might be more accurate as he was living in Capri in 1902 during the Krupp homosexuality scandal and charges were brought against Allers too. He fled the country just before he was tried in absentia and sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison. Allers was an exceptionally talented draftsman whose initial training was in lithography. He produced a number of highly-regarded illustrated books and was known as both a printmaker and painter up to his legal trouble. After that he seems to have made his living itinerantly, often through portraits like this one. There is a rather poorly produced book in German C.W. Allers nach 1902 by Gert Fahrenhorst which, being in a language I don't read I can't recommend except for the fact that it does contain photos of many more of his paintings and drawings. A self-portrait at the age of 25 (below) shows a rather pretty and perhaps rather knowing young man surrounded on either side by pretty young men.

1 comment:

Gerd Fahrenhorst said...

Please give me hints how to improve the book. I'm not a professional writer. Gerd Fahrenhorst, Hannover, Germany. e-Mail:,

Who links to my website?