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Friedrich Wilhelm ("Lion") Kuhnert

 (1865 - 1926)
Friedrich Wilhelm ("Lion") Kuhnert was active/lived in Germany, Switzerland.  Friedrich Kuhnert is known for landscape and animal painting.

Friedrich Wilhelm ("Lion") Kuhnert

Biography from the Archives of askART

A German painter, illustrator and author, he specialized in animal pictures, with his work including drawings, etchings, watercolors and oil paintings.

Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert was born in Oppeln on September 18, 1865, and at the age of 17, he began but did not complete, a technical and commercial apprenticeship. From 1883 to 1887 Kuhnert studied on scholarship at the 'Königliche Akademische Hochschule für Bildende Künste' in Berlin.  From Berlin, he traveled north and to Egypt, East Africa and India, producing extensive landscape and animal studies. 

His favorite subject were African lions.  He studied and drew tropical animals in their natural habitat, not only in zoological gardens.

In 1894, he married the 18-year-old Emilie Herdikerhoff.   The couple had one daughter but divorced in 1909.  That year Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert also illustrated the book Tierleben der Erde, (Animals of the Earth) which he had co-written with zoologist Johann Wilhelm Haacke. Kuhnert married again in 1913 and died on February 11, 1926 while in Flims, Switzerland.


Biography from Jackson Hole Art Auction
Wilhelm Kuhnert (1865-1926)

Wilhelm "Lion" Kuhnert, as his contemporaries knew him, was born in Oppeln, Germany in 1865. After beginning an apprenticeship at seventeen, Kuhnert moved to Berlin in 1883 where he studied with renowned animal painter Paul Meyerheim at the Berlin Academy of Arts. Kuhnert first traveled to Africa in 1891 where he went on safaris in the German and English colonial territories, sketching and making field notes which he later turned into impressive oil paintings in his Berlin studio.

Not only a painter, but also a hunter, Kuhnert traveled to Africa yearly to capture its wild animals in the flesh and on the canvas. In between Kuhnert's extended visits to Africa, he returned to Germany where he continued his wildlife studies, traveling throughout Europe in pursuit of indigenous species including the red stag, elk, bison, wild boar, and moose.

It is estimated that Kuhnert's body of work totaled 5,500 paintings. Today, there are less than a thousand known works in existence. The remainder of his artwork was destroyed or lost in World War II. Kuhnert died while traveling in Switzerland in 1926, leaving a legacy of extraordinary wildlife paintings behind.

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About  Friedrich Wilhelm ("Lion") Kuhnert

Born:  1865 - Oppeln, Germany
Died:   1926 - Flims, Switzerland
Known for:  landscape and animal painting