When I saw this painting I knew that I had seen it before; on an old ‘postkarte’ that I had in my collection. I was sure I was looking at a Catharina Klein (1861-1929) or a copy, as I am quite familiar with her work.
The dealer either didn’t recognise it or knew that it was not authentic (there is no characteristic signature) as he certainly was not asking a Catharina Klein price. I paid without hesitation because I had nothing to lose. I would enjoy the picture anyway as it is beautiful.
It came with a Certificate of Authenticity as an ‘Early C20th oil- Bowl of Roses’, which is indisputable because of its appearance. Therefore if it is a copy it was painted at the time Catharina Klein was painting and could possibly be by one of her students.
As I know that many of her original paintings were destroyed or damaged in the two wars I like to think it is an original that has been ‘restored’! There are one or two minor discrepancies, as well as the major one of no signature, between painting and postcard and for me the mystery will continue. . . .
Catharina Klein was born in the small town of Eylau to the North East of the Polish border. She moved to Berlin to study and her paintings became popular among the German nobility. Although it is reputed she painted over two thousand pictures including flowers, fruits and birds many of her original paintings have not survived but many prints were made which are featured in books and on postcards. The old Meissner and Buch postcards are perhaps the best way to collect her work.