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Siegward Sprotte

Potsdam 1913 - Kampen/ Sylt 2004


Siegwart Sprotte was born in Potsdam, Germany, in 1913. At seventeen he was already taking painting lessons with Karl Hagemeister, whose master class he joined in 1932. In 1931 the artist enrolled at the Berlin art academy, where he studied under Emil Orlik. Orlik's practice of linking Eruopean and Far Eastern painting left a lasting impression on the young Siegwart Sprotte. Untouched by the isms of the 1930s and 1940s, Sprotte went his own way.
While serving in the military and during a prolonged illness in the early 1940s, he worked with Hermann Kasack on a work "Über das Chinesische in der Kunst".
From 1944 he painted the series of portraits "Köpfe der Gegenwart" on the German island of Sylt ("The dunes of the North Frisian Islands looked at me in a West-Eastern way"), which he dedicated to distinguished personalities such as Hermann Hesse, Anna Muthesius, Karl Foerster and Ortega y Gasset.
From the early 1950s Siegwart Sprotte met artists like Käthe Kollwitz, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Eduard Bargheer, Hans Purrmann and Emil Nolde in his own studio. Sprotte spent alternate years working in northern and southern Europe or in the US.
Since 1929 Sprotte's development as an artist has been accompanied by numerous international solo and group exhibiitons. In 1970 he became an honorary member of the "International Academy of Literature, Art and Science" in Rome and of the Potsdam "Kulturbund".
Further honors followed, including a gold medal for his services to art from the "International Congress for Security and Peace" (USA) in 1983 and the 1984 World Prize for Culture from the "Centro Studie Ricerche delle Nazioni" in Calvatone.
Siegwart Sprotte died on Sylt on September 7, 2004.


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