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Hermann Hendrich (31 October 1854 in Heringen, Thuringia, Germany – 18 July 1931 in Schreiberhau, Lower Silesia, Germany)
Born in the vicinity of the storied Kyffhäuser, his parents were Auguste Friederike Hendrich née Ziegler and the baker August Hendrich. From 1870 to 1872 he served his apprenticeship as lithographer; one year shorter than the regular duration due to his evident talent. He then started a job in a Hanoverian lamp factory where he had to draw a catalogue. At that time, he first attended a Wagnerian opera, Tannhäuser, and the wish emerged to be able to draw such musical impressions.
In 1875, Hendrich attended a job at a Berlin art institution where he had to lithograph oil paintings. In 1876, he visited Norway for further art studies. The jury of the "Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung" (great Berlin art exhibition) disapproved however the exhibition of his paintings. Hendrich then started a job as painter in Amsterdam. In 1882, he married Clara (Kläre) Becker whom he had met there. On their honeymoon trip they visited Hendrich's brother in Auburn, New York. Here he exhibited his paintings for the first time. After some initial sales, the remaining entire amount of pictures was bought by a single art dealer. Using the earned money, Hendrich then took a study trip through the USA.
To further deepen his education, in 1885 he went back to Germany. He started lessons with Professor Wenglein in Munich, but then moved to Berlin, and took a study trip to Norway. In 1886, Hendrich joined a studio of the Berlin Academy of Art and received a stipend from the Prussian Ministry of Education and Arts. His paintings were exhibited for the first time in Germany.
In 1889, the German Kaiser 1889 bought a picture from Hendrich.
In 1901, the "Walpurgishalle" in Thale, a building in a pseudo old-Germanic style was inaugurated. Hendrich did the paintings in the interior and created sketches that were used by Bernhard Sehring to create the architecture.
In 1903, Hendrich erected the "Sagenhalle", inspired by the "Walpurgishalle" in Schreiberhau.
Hendrich was a co-founder of the Werdandibund in 1905, a society against the modern developments of art, considered as decadent.
In 1910 the title of professor was awarded to Hendrich.
The "Nibelungenhalle" at the Drachenfels was opened in 1913 at the occasion of Richard Wagner's centennary. It contains twelve paintings by Hendrich with scenes from Der Ring der Nibelungen.
In 1921, he published illustrations for an edition of Das Märchen (also known as The Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily), a 1795 story written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
In 1926, the "Halle Deutscher Sagenring" in Burg an der Wupper (today part of Solingen) with Hendrich's paintings from the Percival saga was opened.
Hendrich died 1931 in Schreiberhau in an accident.
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