This has always been one of my favorite Winter-Christmas decorations. Growing up in wintry, cold Upstate New York, as a young girl, I could hardly wait for the ice to freeze to go ice skating. Sometimes it would be in our front yard, or to the park down the street, or to the indoor rink at Colgate University when we lived in Oneida.
It was interesting to find a bit about this old painting (1920) on the web. Fidus (Hugo Höppener) must have been quite a character! After reading about Fidus, I am sure I will be looking at the lovely little painting with new eyes and a bit of a chuckle!
OLD FIDUS FOUR SEASONS 'WINTER' SILHOUETTE ON GLASS
Fidus was the pseudonym used by German illustrator, painter and publisher Hugo Reinhold Karl Johann Höppener
(October 8, 1868 - February 23, 1948). He was a symbolist artist, whose work directly influenced the psychadelic style
of graphic design of the late 1960s.
Born the son of a confectioner, Höppener demonstrated artistic talent at an early age. Around 1886 he met the "apostle of nature"
and artist Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach(1851-1913), and joined Diefenbach's commune near Munich. On Diefenbach's behalf,
he served a brief prison sentence for public nudity, earning him the name Fidus ("faithful").
In 1892 he moved to Berlin, set up another commune, and worked as an illustrator on the magazine Sphinx . His work appeared
frequently in Jugend and other illustrated magazines. He created many ornamental drawings, especially for book decoration, as
well as ex-libris, posters and designs. He was one of the first artists to use advertising postcards to promote his work.
He held mystical Theosophical beliefs, and became interested in German mythology. His early illustrations contained dream-like
abstractions, while his later work was characterised by motifs such as peasants, warriors, and other naked human figures in natural
settings. He often combined mysticism, eroticism, and symbolism, in Art Nouveauand Secessionist styles. By 1900 he was one
of the best known painters in Germany.
After 1918, interest in Fidus’ work as an illustrator ebbed. By the time he died in 1948 his art had been almost forgotten. It was
rediscovered in the 1960s, and directly influenced the psychedelic concert posters which began to be produced at that time, initially
in and around San Francisco.