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Biographical/Historical Information

The German dramatist and novelist Gerhart Hauptmann – one of the most important devotees to literary naturalism - received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1912.

Emil Orlik was born in Prague on July 21st, 1870 into a German-Jewish family. He studied art in Munich under Heinrich Knirr, Wilhelm Lindenschmidt, and Johann Leonard Raab. He was a painter, an etcher and lithographer, in addition to working as an illustrator for the art magazine PAN, as a theater set designer, book designer and poster designer. He traveled extensively, including a visit to Japan in 1900, where he studied woodblock carving and other techniques. He helped to revive color woodblock printing in Europe. In 1905 Emil Orlik moved to Berlin and took a post at the School for Graphic and Book Art of the Museum of Decorative Arts where he worked until his retirement in 1930. Other notable travels included his trip to Egypt, Nubia, China, Korea, Japan and Siberia in 1911, and his trip to New York City in 1924. Portrait commissions and graphic work kept him busy till the time of his death in Berlin on September 28th, 1932.

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Orlik, Emil: Portrait of Gerhart Hauptmann (1870-1932), Leo Baeck Institute, 77.637.