Today’s object of the month is an oil painting featuring the steamship Kaiser Wilhelm II in front of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. I remember when I first came across it as I thought it was such a strange image with the ship completely out of water, but of course that’s how an allegorical painting is supposed to look. With my interest piqued, I went to check out the file folder to see what the background of this painting was. To my dismay, there was next to no information in the file and the wrong artist had even been attributed to the painting, despite the fact that there is a clear signature in the bottom left hand corner.
I am a rather curious person by nature, and so not knowing anything about this painting was rather painful. Taking what little I knew about it, which was basically just the artist, I turned to my best friend for answers, Google. I soon found out that the artist, Otto Bollhagen, was a well-known painter in Bremen, Germany. This is where he set up his ‘atelier’, meaning studio. Underneath ‘Atelier Bollhagen’ on the signature is ‘Bremen’. The business Otto started in 1892 continues today under the leadership of a great-grandson.