Anton Pieck is a rare and wonderful treat.
I've made no secret of my enduring loyalty to the Dutch artists; again and again, they seem to have the stuff to capture my imagination, and at times, my heart. Usually this special status is reserved for the painters, but I make an exception here for the wonderful illustrator, Anton Pieck. His images are full of colour and whimsey, with almost magical settings and people. There's almost a Disney-esque aura about his work, which, I found while researching this post, he comes by honestly. He was crucial to the design of the Efteling theme park, apparently one of the hot theme parks in Europe. It also apparently has had a historical relationship with Disney, which is quite a suitable relationship, in my mind.
Anton Pieck is a rare and wonderful treat.
I did a post at one time about paintings of crimson Cardinals enjoying life, being humans, and generally going wild (HERE), so I thought I'd continue the fun with a post about monks doing the same, but this time painted by a single artist, the German, Eduard von Grützner (technically Polish now, as he was born in Gross Carlowitz, a chunk of what was formerly Prussia). The guy had style. He had a huge range of subjects in his art, but he also did a large number of depictions of monks at various stages of play. I dig that.
With my typical caveat about negative opinions on religious subjects and figures, von Grützner goes well beyond people's potential prejudices in this area. His monks are eminently human, showing all the joy and foibles which are the hallmark of the human being. His colours are warm and muted, his lines are organic and lively, and there's a spry liveliness to all his figures that just make one feel good. One thing we know from his work; monks are fun. And fat. And potentially alcoholic! Even being the 200% tetotaller that I am, I still find these chaps HIGHLY amusing.
I hope you will enjoy his stuff as much as I do; he's worth your art-looking time.
Althout this isn't visual art, the lack of introductory info on this art compels me to share these artists.
Even as a very little kid, I loved to hear whistling. My dad had a breathy whistle that he did between his teeth and tongue, badly interpreting Hank Williams tunes...I thought it was cool, in spite of the fact that it was only actually about 10% whistle to 110% breath. I wanted to do it! After hearing it on a song on the radio, for some reason it suddenly made sense. After that it was a nearly pathological habit; I whistled while walking, riding a bike, and even during school, often with unfortunate punitive results. I didn't care...it was fun!
The first whistler I ever heard on record was probably, considering how much country music my parents listened to, the wonderful singer Roger Whittaker. He did quite a few whistling songs, as I recall, but I hadn't remembered him until a friend recently reminded me. The first whistler that I actually remember, and who inspired my own whistling, was the big band whistler and singer Elmo Tanner. When I got the 78 RPM disc of the Ted Weems orchestra doing their huge hit, Heartaches, Tanner's solo blew my mind. He was so melodious and stylishly ornate; it was like a bird had learned to sing jazz!
That set me on the path to melodic whistling. I learned the tongue whistle and the pucker whistle, then moved on to glottal trills and finally to double-chamber whistling. It was an amazingly fun road to walk creatively, and I was always on the lookout for records with whistling on them. That's when I discovered that, in the early days of recording, whistling had been a mainstream novelty entertainment. I found recordings by Sibyl Sanderson Fagan, Joe Belmont, Guido Gialdini and the like, and was thrilled to see that whistlers did every style of music that was popular at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. Waltzes, Cake Walks, Fox Trots, Mazurkas, Jazz, classical melodies, and much more were brought to life by these colourful artists. In fact, there were many songs which paired whistlers with known singers of the day; it was not unusual for Billy Murray, Ada Jones, Arthur Collins, etc. to have a bit of whistling on a recording.
As usual, the internet has made it possible to procure recordings of this kind like never before. Cylinder and 78 RPM collectors are graciously making these things available. That's how I discovered the virtuoso Margaret McKee; I accidentally stumbled on her while link-surfing on Youtube...I almost passed out, she's so completely amazing.
The vast majority of these people were in Vaudeville, and it thrills me to imagine that you could go to a theatre reasonably regularly and see someone whistling with an orchestra! As you will see in the images below, whistling artists advertised themselves as such; they toured, they advertised in industry periodicals, and they recorded fairly prolifically...there is a surprisingly large number of whistling solos in the Edison cylinder catalogue.
Of course, whistling, in spite of the occasional classical melody and fancily dressed puckerer, was still not a high entertainment; I'm fairly certain that none ever played Carnegie Hall, even at the peak of its popularity. Here's a charming whistler's anecdote pulled from the March 1907 issue of the entertainment magazine, "The Clipper", that proves that point:
Victor V. Vass, the vaudeville performer of whistling specialties, proudly declares that he is the only variety man who has ever had the honor to dress in the same room with the late Henry Irving [ See: www.henryirving.co.uk ]. Vass was on tbe bill at the Broadway Theatre, In 1890, at a benefit performance for the Actors' Fund. Arriving late, be found no room assigned to him, so knocked on the door of the nearest dressing room. A gruff voice bade him "enter," and on opening the door Vass discovered the occupant to be tbe eminent Englishman. Turning hastily, intending to leave, he apologized for intruding, explaining, at the same time, that he had no place to dress.
"I'd be pleased to share my room with you, and especially so on this grand occasion," said Mr. Irving. Somewhat embarrassed, Vass accepted the Invitation, and began to get ready for his turn. Unfortunately, he bad forgotten his grease paint, and Mr. Irving offered some of his own special preparation. Vass carefully saved as much of this as possible, and wrapped it safely In his dressing case. While dressing, the most prominent actor in the land chatted genially on equal terms with the variety man, making kind inquiries about his work in the vaudeville field. Later, after Vass' turn, be ran into the thespian in the wings, and was warmly complimented on his work, and at the same time the actor expressed the hope that his fifteen minute sketch, "Waterloo," would please tbe audience as well as Vass' whistling act.
A week later the whistler was putting on his paint for his turn at one of the "continuous" houses. To his two companions in the dressing room be, in an off-hand sort of way, remarked: "It is not everybody that can use Henry Irving's specially prepared grease paint, as I'm doing."
"Listen to the whistler!" exclaimed one of the performers, "I wonder what brand he's smoking!"
A rare and wonderful story, wot?
The history of popular whistling at the turn of the last century is tragically forgotten by most people these days, most of which would either consider it a corny blotch on human culture, or at best, a kitschy novelty, one of those (from their perspective) zany and surreal oddities that make the present time oh-so-vastly improved. I see it as yet another thing that made previous generations great; a time when people made entertainment for themselves, and nothing was off the table. If you could make a melody with it, or dance on it, or spin it, or make it disappear, people would watch you do it. It's not like that today, or at least not in the mainstream. There aren't many people in the last half century that have taken it to the high level that those earlier generations did.
Fortunately, the internet does provide a little solace...you can find recordings of Swedish whistler Leo Eide, also the 60's Hungarian songbird Hacki Tamás (HERE), and if you haven't heard Geert Chatrou, the current world whistling champion, or K. Sivaprasad, the South Indian classical whistler, you're in for a treat. Just don't look for their recordings in any store near you, or expect anyone you know to have heard of them:
On that note, although I no longer listen to music or play any instruments, I leave you with a few nice images culled from the web, some nice examples of early whistling, as well as the most virtuosic whistling recording that I know of, courtesy of my old music collection: Carson Robison, with a peppy 20's dance melody, accompanied by piano ~ "Whistle-itis"!
I really, really love classic Russian academic art. It digs into my guts, and though entirely representational, it plays with my emotional interior as much as any impressionist ever could. To imagine a thing that never existed, with people conjured up from the imagination (with the help of marginally paid models), while also inspiring deep feeling and contemplation is the real gift of these guys. You can't photograph what has never existed, no matter what the (so-called) modern art folk say.
Now, if I were going to pick a singl favourite, it would certainly be the stunning master Ilya Repin (1844 - 1930). His paintings live inside me, and his technique is unparalleled, while at the same time existing mainly to create the story on his canvas. The next three are the ones I present here. Together they're a juggernaut of imagination, with differing artistic temperaments, but aesthetically connected (in my fevered mind, anyway) by more than simply their first names. Historical themes are their bread and butter, along with the orientalist paintings that ruled their era.
If you enjoy their work, please consider researching their histories; fascinating fellows, all.
Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin (Васи́лий Васи́льевич Вереща́гин) 1842 - 1904
Vasily Dmitrievich Polenov (Васи́лий Дми́триевич Поле́нов) 1844 - 1947
Vasily Ivanovich Surikov (Васи́лий Ива́нович Су́риков) 1848 - 1916
I have a conundrum on my hands.
Recently I did a post about one of my favourite Flemish painters, Frans Snyders. I mentioned his unique, individual, singular style, blah, blah, blah. Well, on a research jaunt for another post, I ran into what I thought were his paintings; ones that I'd not seen. They actually turned out to be those of his brother-in-law, Paul De Vos, from Antwerp.
Apparently (!!!), he was HEAVILY influenced by Snyders. So much so, in fact, that I'm mildly suspicious of my identifications; I am not an expert by any means, and there is so much similar. I'm confused. As an amateur lover of the canvas and brush, I get painted into these little corners more often that I would care to admit.
So, I recommend that you decide for yourself. Below are what have been identified by various sources on the web as de Vos, and you can find my post and the images of Frans Snyders HERE. Whatever the case, the chaos of each provide a similarly startling experience, so, as the kids say, it's all good.
Of all the artists in history, I have a deep affection for the work of Flemish artists. Why? Well, along with Russians, the Dutch and Flemish painters simply have what it takes to get inside my guts and build a nest. They crawl in there, then they start tugging at the bits of spiritual entrails inside me, tearing at the unnameable gobbets that hang from my innards.
In other words, they get to me.
Foremost on that front is the 16th/17th century artist Frans Snyders. The man took chaos and turned it into a visual symphony. He grasped the real world and showed it to us at it's most brutal; men killing animals, animals killing animals, animals engaged in hideous social cacophonies rarely witness in real life...yet somehow more true than life. His specialty was excess. If there was a table with butchered game, it had corpse after corpse of a dozen or more types of animal and bird. If an animal was being attacked, it was locked in a terrifying, frenzied melee'! I find that overwhelming hyper-reality invigourating. There is nothing staid about Snyders' work. Honestly, I find it difficult to look at his paintings for too long, as they tap into something bestial inside me. It's unsettling.
On the other hand, he has a fondness for paintings of hogs, which, as a former Banjo player, I find highly amusing.
Here is a new name to me. Though I'd seen one of his paintings, The Flight of King Gradlon, based on a semi-historical Breton King, I had no idea who had done it. I was looking for images of the incredible painter Gustave Surand, and I stumbled on Luminais.
Talk about luck! Such great style, and such wonderful subjects! As you may know, I'm a sucker for a historical painting, and even more so for depictions of legendary characters. He strikes me as an ancestor of my hero N.C. Wyeth, but with a bit of Arnold Böcklin and Goya thrown in.
They're very exciting to me, and make me want to dig out some old historical novels and read until my eyes hurt. I hope you enjoy them as much!
Having traveled to Asia extensively, particularly to the various Muslim regions, I consider myself at least reasonably acquainted with the various cultures and cultural expressions that can be found there. I've played many of the musics of Asia, and I'm a big fan of the carving traditions that can be found in all corners. That said, I'll admit to being a bit shocked when I discovered the Indonesian artist Raden Saleh Sjarif Boestaman. His art is so generally contrary to the what I've come to expect. It's very European in it's general style, yet there's a very Asian feeling in it's execution; if you look at enough images of Indonesian wood carving, the kinship to the vibe of Raden Saleh's art can clearly be seen. Layers upon layers of texture.
Born in Java, his father was an Indonesian of Arab descent, specifically Hadhrami Yemeni, so he certainly comes by his Orientalist themes honestly. So colourful and full of dynamic action. So many images of large cats attacking horses...I wonder if this was something that he himself feared at any point!
To learn about Hadhrami Arabs, go HERE
Cossack Mamay is a legendary hero in Ukrainian folklore. For over three hundred years he has appeared in thousands of images and a multitude of folk tales. Mamay personifies the national feeling and identity of Ukraine; he is part King Arthur, part Robin Hood, and like those mythic characters, he paints the history of the country with charismatic colour.
These paintings are part Orthodox Iconography, part Persian miniature, and part primitive folk art. In these ubiquitous images, Mamay is surrounded by typical symbols of the Cossack; a saber, a spear, a pistol, a strong horse, and a bottle of Ukrainian Vodka among them. In these paintings he is uniformly depicted as playing the Kobza, the traditional Ukrainian plucked Lute. Often we see him beatifically plucking it with a man hanging upside down from the branches of a tree; a firm reminder that, in spite of his charming and mildly impish appearance, Mamay is a Cossack...a warrior down to his bones. He is a romanticised distillation of the people of the steppe, with the wild, unruly and free nature which is the linguistic source of their name. The earliest surviving image of Mamay is from 1642.
The six-hundred-fifty year history of the Cossack is amazing and powerful, and for better or worse, they have made many fascinating chapters in the history of our planet. Kozak Mamay is a symbol of that history; potent, charming, somewhat intimidating, and entirely captivating. This is the first of many posts of these amazing images.
Time for more hot stuff! This batch has monkeys, some badass ladies, lions, cowboys, and nuns! What more could want in their art selection? I don't have any real modern art in here, so if you like that, I think you'll be disappointed. I'm an unapologetic representational art-type of chap.
I'm particularly fond right now of Gaetano Belli's works...he's the one who painted the two sets wind-whipped women below. So much colour and energy. Antonio Gomez gets another shot at showing us some Mexicana fighters, to go with Marat Samsonov's steel-tough "Little Sister" (read THIS). Here's the list:
Antonio Gomez, Fredrick Remington, Gabriel Cornelius Ritter von Max, Gaetano Belli, William Hogarth, Frank Blackwell, Jehan Georges Vibert, Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse, Marat Samsonov, Claude Monet, & Raden Saleh.
Having recently done a post for my Albanian woodcarver/Pipemaker friend Sidrit Skender Vaqari (HERE), I thought I'd give another shout out to the double-eagle in the form of contemporary artist Artur Muharremi. Normally a painter of colourful abstractions, to me his interesting works are his nudes. They're brash, they're stark, and in spite of some of the angles he presents them in (I don't have any of the more extreme ones here), I don't find them particularly sexual. Perhaps that's just me. I just admire the blankness and frankness of the colours; idiosyncratic and highly contrasting choices, across the board.
His work reminds me of the illustrator Robert Mcginnis, who was also famous for nudes with atypical colour schemes. I don't know much about Muharremi other than what I see, though I believe that his career started when the Communists were in control of the country, and crossed into the relative freedom of current times.
He's on Facebook, and you can see (and purchase) more of his work HERE
Of all the themes that I collect when it comes to art imagery, paintings that feature Cavaliers are some of my favourite. There's something about their colourful gear and rakish charm that exudes excitement and flavour. This kind of fighting man, of course, is most well known from Alexandre Dumas' most-classic novel THE THREE MUSKETEERS, but they're all over the map in western European literature and art. The wide-brimmed hat, the puffy shirts with the frilled collars, brightly coloured clothing, knee boots, long, curly hair and pointed chin beard and mustaches, with the addition of the deadly rapier, all are the hallmarks of their flashy image. I think of today's concept of masculinity and there is much in conflict there with the way these many fellows present themselves.
Can you imagine a macho guy like Russell Crowe, or the MMA champ Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell walking around in a frilly collar and silk knee-britches? I really can't. Yet, the Cavalier brings this look off with a Byronesque charm edged with deadly seriousness. Flash and dash to the extreme, and for the second post in a row, I invoke the name Errol Flynn (read the other post HERE) to illustrate my point. Style, masculinity and badassness all in one.
I hope you enjoy these!
Swords, swords, and more swords! In spite of the fact that a sword is essentially a long, skinny meat cleaver designed to cut human beings open and let their life juices drain out, they have a kind of highly possessive magic, don't they? I have several swords; I have two sword canes with excellent blades, two new sabres with carbon steel sharpness, and one antique English sabre that not only looks cool, will cut one quite severely if mishandled! I can totally see how the concept of Excalibur came about, and how the Samurai, by all accounts, considered them a part of their soul. It's a part of our DNA, at least for boys; it has been the bane of every hippie homeschooling mother that boys with no TV or public school friends will pick up sticks and start doing their best Errol Flynn imitations...without ever seeing him in duelistic action. I have lots of scars from such childhood battles.
Art in general has benefited greatly from the depiction of this tool; it has become an icon in classic painting on the level of the Lute and the chess set, items that get popped in for colour in hundreds and hundreds of artworks. It's a case of instant drama; that thing in the scene that automatically implies that razor's edge between death and life, and the contrast it adds in a scene of joy or fun is amusing...like, "yep, I'm having fun, but I could open you like a piñata. They're also wonderful in Movies! THE MARK OF ZORRO, with Tyrone Power, or THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, with the afore-mentioned Flynn? Magical and exciting fun.
Here are a few of my fave sword images.
She was born Amal Al Atrach in Syria, in 1917, but she would become famous across the Arab world under her stage name, Asmahan. In the west, the primary Arab woman singers of note would be the legendary Egyptian Um Kalsoum and the Lebanese superstar Fairuz, but Asmahan is equally popular in every country in which Arabic is the native language.
Asmahan's father was Syrian, but her mother was Lebanese. Both were of the Druze religion, which is a tertiary offshoot of Shia Islam (which is in itself an offshoot of mainstreat, Sunni Islam) through the Isma'ili sect. She showed a profound musical gift at an early age, and she was fortunate that her brother was (and is) the Oud master, singer, and actor, Farid Al Atrash, one of the most famous musicians in the history of Arabic song. Not to say, by any means, that she didn't rise on the strength of her own talent, but to have him as a brother couldn't hurt!
Upon her move to the Egypt, which is basically the Hollywood equivalent of the (so-called) middle east, her star rose dramatically. She began making records and films, singing in several dialects of Arabic, performing classical music at the highest level. In doing research for this post I've become mildly obsessed with her history (I was already obsessed with her voice and volcanic beauty). Alongside being a singing star, she also had a role in the espionage-laden world of the second world war, in which she delivered messages to the Syrian Druze from the British and Free French! I'll be reading much more about this amazing stuff, I assure you.
For some great basic info about Asmahan, see the Wiki article, HERE.
It's very rare that I enjoy an artist working past 1930. There are some, of course, but they're usually inspired by and deal very deeply in the skills that made, say, the academic classicists so powerful and compelling. One of the current facets of art that still manages to grab me is woodcarving. There are so many people doing wonders in wood (though still infinitesimally fewer than there were in the "olden days"). I've also fallen in love with the art of pipemaking, and there are a legion of guys making wonderful things to puff tobacco from. This is what brought me to this great craftsman, Sidrit Skender Vaqari...he's got skills.
Born in Tirana, Albania in 1982, Sidrit studied sculpture at the fine arts academy there. He's been a professional carver for fifteen years, but with the incredibly mature skills that he puts to use in these pieces of practical art, it seems like he should be a wizened old man! His education in sculpture really shows in his eye for proportion, and his taste in subject matter is quite broad; everything from Michelangelo's David, to the warrior Dwarf Gimli from the Fellowship of the Rings. It's very inspiring stuff. The professional European and Turkish pipemakers really put a great deal of time and imagination into their work, and Sidrit is very much of that old school tradition...in spite of his youth and full-arm tattoos! Look at the detailing in the Gimli pipe below; the beard braids alone are exceptionally imaginative. It's great work. I imagine they must also be a pleasure to smoke, as well, so if you're interested in owning one of these masterpieces in briar wood, click on this link HERE and/or HERE (if you're on Facebook). He's a very nice guy and responds to inquiries quickly and politely.
In the former incarnation of this website, CLAYTONOLOGY, I had a thing called "Hot Stuff", where I would showcase some of the images that I enjoyed a bunch. I harvest the bountiful web for this sort of thing; it's a huge banquet for the eyes to the person patient enough to search. That's how this page developed, actually. I was finding so many outstanding images that I felt the need to share, hoping some like-minded folk might find them amusing, and enjoy them as much as I have. The search itself has been a wonderful education, and as I find new images, they lead me to other new ones, and then I discover an army of great artists of whom I had previously not heard.
Well, I've commissioned from myself a new "Hot Stuff" endeavour...I hope that you enjoy! I don't prefer to supply bios or info on the work, but with the internet and a few names, there is a great bunch of fun in searching. Here are the artists:
Horace Henry Cauty, Jean Alaux, Antonio Gomez, August Wilhelm Roesler, Cecilia Beaux, Charles Joseph Grips, Émile Jean-Horace Vernet, Francois Flameng, Frederick Cayley Robinson, Peter Ilsted, Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret, & Paul Jamin.
Recently, and by that I mean the last two or three years, I've taken to smoking a pipe. I own three of them and they're basically these fascinating works of art. I like the German styles, but there are hundreds of different basic types, and thousands of variations. As a big fan and a student of history (informally but fanatically), I've seen pipes in the hands of every type of interesting character all through time. It's the same thing that attracted me to chess and Nine Men's Morris, in spite of the fact that I had no previous interest in games whatsoever.
I've never been a smoker, either. Cigarettes smell terrible, they make your clothing smell terrible, they taste terrible, they're addictive, and quite, quite, expensive. Pipes, on the other hand, have to be purchases just once, and if you're a casual smoker, like me, it costs next to nothing. Also, pipe tobacco smells delicious, and it makes your clothing smell nice. Also also, one doesn't inhale pipe smoke, but puff it into the mouth for the flavour...then you can blow smoke rings like billio. Or magic ships, if you have Gandalf-level skills. All of mine are wood, briar and others, but someday in the near future I plan on getting some clay and also Meerschaum pipes. If they're good enough for Sherlock Holmes, then I'm in good company.
Here are some pipe-related works by Ernst_Müller, Abraham Teniers, Josef Wagner, Carl Spitzweg, Wilhelm Benz, Eduard von Grützner, Emile Jean Horace & others.
Tavik František Šimon (the Tavik, according to Wikipedia, was his mother's maiden name) was a Bohemian (now Czech) artist, whose work straddled two centuries. I was immediately drawn to him; he reminded me a bit of a Dutch favourite of mine, Anton Pieck, with muted colour and mobile, interesting lines. I've become more a fan of illustration these days, and most times I enjoy it as well as I do a really fine painting. The illustrators of his era, the turn of the 20th century, were real craftsmen as well as sophisticated workers in line and colour.
Apparently he was very well traveled, which definitely shows in his art. His choices of subject are international, and unlike many people who worked in 'oriental' subjects, his glow with both humanity and reality. I'm both pleased and intrigued to find that he had done a huge number of 'ex libris' plates; I'm an avid collector of old books, and these are a pleasant and often passed-over subgenre of art. He's excellent.
Be sure to visit T.F.SIMON.COM for many more images and infor on this great artist.
It's no secret that I love the Dutch and Flemish art; they have what it takes to touch my heart. One of the main reasons, I think, is that they're masters with light. Vermeer, of course, gets most of the attention, but the Dutch in general do magic with the brush when it comes to lighting scenes. Carl Holsoe is very much at the top of my list in this area. Born in Arhus, Denmark, He attended the Royal Academy of Art in Copenhagen.
Although he did portraits and landscapes, what I love is his interior paintings. Usually featuring a woman engaged in some quite activity, especially reading, he evokes a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere. His lighting and muted colours work together to create this tranquility, and at a level that I believe is unrivaled in the world of representative painters. He certainly knows how to bring wall to life! Witness his masterful arrangement of furniture and wall decor (I've never wanted plates on my wall so much as after looking at his art); he knows what looks good in a home!
I can't get enough of his wonderful world...he's made me look at my own domicile with an eye for peaceful living, and it has done wonders.
It's rare to run into real folk musicians anymore, especially if one is a fanatic. After a while, as the older and more authentic, unspoiled, pre-modern types die off, all we're left with in many cases are either quaint revivalist pastiches or glossy commercial musicians. American oldtime music is like that to a depressing degree. All of the great naturalistic folk players, like the amazing Roscoe Holcomb (actually spelled Rosco Halcomb), are long gone, leaving the hardcore listener with fewer and fewer discoveries as time goes on. In the Bavarian Zither player Josef Bauer, we have exactly that kind of musician: raw, unspoiled, and oozing intense regional flavour in every song.
Born in Greiling, a village in the county of Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen, Bavaria, he was the youngest of nine children, and he took up the Zither under the tutelage of one of his older brothers. He enjoyed performing in various local gatherings, and even entertained his fellow soldiers after being drafted into the army during WWI. In 1918, after the defeat of the German army, Bauer happily went home to his family farm, where he returned to performing music. Around 1920 he joined a musical group formed by Anna, Benedict and Mary Trischberger, called "Das Gaißacher Sänger und Zitherquartett" (Gaißach is another municipality in Bad Tölz-Wolfratshausen), which became very popular across the region.
He married Anna Trischberger, and he settled on Kraudn farm in the village of Lehen in Gaißach; thus, by Bavarian traditional naming conventions, he became, and remained, Der Kraudn Sepp. Sepp, or it's diminutive, Sepp'l, is a regional nickname for Josef, so he was called "Josef of Kraudn farm".
He played with the quartet until Anna died in 1967, which is an incredible run for a group of any musical style, and then went on to perform Zither solos and songs alone. He made a number of albums, and he came to represent, in many ways, the ideal of the regional country lifestyle. True to the vernacular music of the German-speaking countries, his songs are full of "earthy" (read: bawdy) content; songs for farmers and carpenters to drink thick, foamy beer to.
I was turned on to Der Kraudn Sepp by my Dutch friend Harry Van Lunenburg, and I've been obsessed ever since. Real Bavarian music, in the USA, anyway, is fairly difficult to come by, even when you have any idea who is who; what an incredible find I have in this amazingly expressive player. His rustic, yet expressive Zither picking compliments his unadorned singing in a colourfully unpredictable way.
His album Sonntag (Sunday) is readily available on the web, both digitally and on compact disc.
As per usual with the music of this region, info was difficult to come by; I credit the Josef Bauer Wiki (in German), for many of the personal details in this article.