1873 - 1942
The Letter

Oil on canvas, signed & dated 19’28’
Image size: 19 x 49 inches (48 x 124.5 cm)
Original Gilt frame


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Johann Vincenz Cissarz

Johann Vincenz Cissarz was born on January 22nd 1873, Danzig, German Empire (today Gdańsk, the Republic of Poland) and died on December 22nd 1942, Frankfurt, Germany.

Cissarz was known for his paintings, illustrations, posters and typography. From 1891 until 1894 Cissarz studied at the academy of arts in Dresden, where he also worked as a graphic artist and designer. In 1916 he settled in Frankfurt, teaching painting at the Städel Art Institute until 1939.

After producing monumental altarpieces and murals, he took up book illustration and poster design. By 1899, he was actively involved in the Dresden craft workshops, designing furniture and wallpaper. He was also recognized widely for the quality of his posters and typography. He successfully exhibited in art shows around the turn of the century.

In 1903, he moved from Dresden to the artists’ colony at Matildenhühe, near Darmstadt, designing furniture for the Blaues Haus. His typographic work on the catalogues for the 1904-1905 exhibitions of the Darmstadt Artist Colony and his posters and advertisements for Bad Nauheim in 1904 were considered to be notable contributions to the “modern advertising idiom.”

In 1906, Cissarz became head of book design at the teaching and experimental workshop of the Verein Würtembergischer Kunstfreunde in Stuttgart, later becoming its professor. His typeface design, Cissarz Latein, for the Ludwig & Mayer Foundry in 1912 secured his renown as a book designer.

From 1916 on, he taught painting at the Kunstgewerbeschule (Arts and Crafts Academy) in Frankfurt am Main. In 1937 he was honoured for his work on the Berlin Olympic Village .