Heinrich Zille

Heinrich Zille

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Heinrich Zille Park on Bergstraße in Berlin’s Mitte borough was named for him by the City of Berlin in 1948 and formerly featured a statue of him from the workshop of Paul Kentsch, but the statue’s whereabouts are unknown and the park is now a children’s adventure playground. There is a Zille Memorial statue created in 1964–65 by Heinrich Drake in the Lapidary within Köllnischer Park, also in Mitte. Zille did not consider himself a real artist: he often said that his work was not the result of talent but merely of hard work. Max Liebermann nevertheless promoted him. He called him into the Berlin Secession in 1903, featured his work in exhibitions, and encouraged him to sell drawings – and when Zille lost his job as a lithographer in 1910, he encouraged him to live from his drawings alone. The Berlin “Common People” paid him the greatest respect, and very late in life his fame culminated when both poverty and freedom of expression reached new heights in the roaring twenties, with the National Gallery buying some drawings in 1921, the Academy of the Arts honouring him with a professorship in 1924, and Gerhard Lamprecht making the film Die Verrufenen based on his cartoon characters and stories in 1925. His 70th birthday in 1928 was celebrated throughout Berlin. He died one year later.

Actor: Daniel Brunet
Written by: Nadja Klinger
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