Friday, October 17, 2014

Arty Farty Friday ~ The Elusive Maximilian Pirner

Maximilian Pirner, born February 13, 1853, Schüttenhofen, Bohemia (Czech: Sušice). Died April 2, 1924, Prague. A Czech painter, member of the Vienna Secession and associated with the Czech Secession art movements. Pirner's usual themes were classical mythology, for example: Medusa (1891), Hekate (1901); also the macabre: Sleepwalker (1878), Daemon Love (1893), and Allegory of Death (1895). He also sketched or painted a number of of female figures, many of them nudes.

Described by one critic as having achieved "mastery of the sinuous line". Pirner also had his detractors. One contemporary critic, while acknowledging Pirner's talent, considered him an "over-sophisticated mystic."
(Information from Wikipedia).

That's all they wrote (in English)! There's a dearth of accessible information on this artist. The only other tid-bit I found is the fact that Pirner taught art - somewhere. A student mentioned in an article "was accepted to the class of drawing and painting of Max Pirner (1854-1924), an acknowledged artist of neo-romantic, philosophical inclinations".

A few of his paintings, then his natal chart.

Please click on images for larger or clearer views.

Hekate, a goddess in Greek religion and mythology, most often shown holding two torches or a key, and in later periods depicted in triple form. She was variously associated with crossroads, entrance-ways, dogs, light, the Moon, magic, witchcraft, knowledge of herbs and poisonous plants, necromancy, and sorcery. In the post-Christian writings of the Chaldean Oracles (2nd-3rd century CE) she was regarded with (some) rulership over earth, sea and sky, as well as a more universal role as Saviour (Soteira), Mother of Angels and the Cosmic World Soul. She was one of the main deities worshiped in Athenian households as a protective goddess and one who bestowed prosperity and daily blessings on the family. (Wikipedia)

In Greek mythology Medusa was a monster, a Gorgon, generally described as having the face of a hideous human female with living venomous snakes in place of hair. Gazing directly into her eyes would turn onlookers to stone. Medusa was beheaded by the hero Perseus, who thereafter used her head as a weapon until he gave it to the goddess Athena to place on her shield. In classical antiquity the image of the head of Medusa appeared in the evil-averting device known as the Gorgoneion. (Wikipedia)

Empedocles (c.490 – c.430 BC) was a Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. Empedocles' philosophy is best known for being the originator of the cosmogenic theory of the four Classical elements. He also proposed powers called Love and Strife which would act as forces to bring about the mixture and separation of the elements. These physical speculations were part of a history of the universe which also dealt with the origin and development of life. Influenced by the Pythagoreans, he supported the doctrine of reincarnation. (Wikipedia)

 Jupiter a Jehova

 Allegory of Death

 The Sleepwalker

 Homo Homini Lupus
Homo homini lupus est is a Latin phrase meaning "man is a wolf to [his fellow] man." First attested in Plautus' Asinaria (195 BC, "lupus est homo homini"), the phrase is sometimes translated as "man is man's wolf", which can be interpreted to mean that man preys upon man. It is widely referenced when discussing the horrors of which humans are capable. (And ain't that the truth!!)

Born February 13, 1853, Schüttenhofen, Bohemia (Czech: Sušice). The chart is set for 12 noon, as no birth time is known.

Pirner had much Aquarius about him, a cluster of four personal planets in that sign, allied, by sextile, to Jupiter in its own sign of Sagittarius. So, his philosophical and intellectual sides are clearly marked, and connected to Venus (the arts). Pluto, Uranus and Saturn (could be nickamed the Terrible Trio) are antagonistically aligned to the cluster of Aquarius planets. How this might have manifested in the artist's life and personality remains unknown, other than, perhaps, critics' adverse commentary on his work.

Natal Moon would have been either in late Aries or early Taurus. I think early Taurus (ruled by Venus) would be a better bet, from the very little we know of him. Neptune (imagination) in its own sign, Pisces sextiles Saturn in Taurus, which, being translated could mean that his mystical creative imagination (Neptune) was helpful to his work and career (Saturn).


mike said...

So many of the famous from the later 1800s that you've showcased tend to have their planets bundled and Pirner is another. I always like to delve into biographies to better understand how the individual utilized their astrology, and like so many, this guy has little information available. I did find a site that referred to a German site that can be interpreted using Google to translate (I'm still having problems with my computer and can't utilize this function!):

One snippet from a site said that he was very influential as a teacher to many artists that would later rise to fame. His art work appears to be at the front of the Art Nouveau period, which wasn't highly popularized until the 1890s.

Are you feeling better, Twilight? Recovered enough that you and anyjazz can have a wild weekend?

Twilight said...

mike ~ Yes, bundles of planets appear to be common among people who have become famous or expert in their field. Plenty of focus on their chosen goals, I suppose.

Thanks for the link - I had tried to translate pieces from that website while preparing the post, but gave up after a couple of attempts. E.g.

The identification with the idea of the lonely genius was the essence Pirners own ( he was one of the to enter in the 70s individualist generation ) . The neo-romantic tradition culminated at the beginning of the 20th century to a certain ideological cliché , but it was also the source of those statements that were parallel to Expressionism .

Google translates the bare bones, but it'd take a real German/English scholar to unravel it well.

Pirner was one among very many of his generation's superb artists - he seems to have fallen through the cracks.

Thanks for asking, mike. The foot is very slow to heal and get back to normal. I knew it would take several weeks to heal properly. Still have to have compression-bandaged leg and foot. Eventually I found a man-sized slipper/shoe online that I can wear to go outside. Looks like a young ship, but nobody cares. :-)
Went out to Docs for flu shot yesterday... first time out for many days.

No wild weekends for at least a couple more weeks. Maybe we'll do a wee Fall leaf-peeping run then, to East of the state...we'll see. :-)

mike (again) said...

His work does not command high dollars. There are several sites stating auction final bids and none have fetched well. Here's one listing with recent sales:

Good to know that your main concern is docking the ship...LOL. If you can manage to entertain another suggestion: use topical castor oil (typically in the laxative section of most drugstores) on your foot, should your sore not heal by your current method.

LB said...

So calling him a "mystic" was a bad thing???:)

With both Pluto and Uranus so close and possibly conjunct his Moon, how could he not create art with a deeper message?

I see what you mean Twilight, about that lovely sextile between Pirner's Neptune in Pisces and Saturn in Taurus.:) Neptune-Saturn aspects in general can be great for artists, even more so in those particular signs.

His South Node is in Sagittarius and conjunct Jupiter - traditional ruler of his Neptune in Pisces which is widely square Neptune. No wonder he was a mystic and teacher.

Take good care of that "ship" of yours, Twilight!

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Hmmm - he's certainly not among the "A-list" of painters who bring in the $$$$$$$$ (nor the B,C, or D lists!)

I suspect he was primarily a teacher.
I found this snip from a book at Google/books
"Rethinking Vienna 1900" edited by Steven Beller ~~~

The teachers of the younger generation who were active in Prague, such as Maximilian Pirner and Vojtech Hynais, undertook allegorical cycles of themes such as Demon and Love (Pirner) or a new interpretation of the traditional Judgement of Paris (Hynais), the focus of which were existential questions of life, love, and death.

Castor oil eh? I shall bear that in mind - thank you, mike. :-)

Twilight said...

LB ~ I think it was the "over-sophisticated" part - when allied to "mystic" - that upset certain critics.

Given his natal chart, as you say, there's little wonder he was attracted to mysticism - and teaching.

Lol! Ship ahoy! Hoping for a rising tide.

ex-Chomp said...

Fascinating but gloom with a taste of smart doom

Twilight said...

ex-Chomp ~ Exactly! :-)