Original Ink Drawing "Otto von Bismarck" by Erich M. Simon, c. 1910

This masterful and delicate ink drawing portrays Otto von Bismarck (1815 – 1898) as a young student and in the background in a row of former German monarchs and heads of state Bismarck can be seen in his elder years. This artwork is signed by the Berlin artist ERICH M. SIMON and dates back to around 1910.

We are proud to present a selection of drawings and watercolors from the estate of the well known Berlin artist Erich M. Simon (1892 – 1978). Erich M. Simon is a well-listed artist. I found a painting as well as a poster by him on Artprice that brought $1.350.00 and $1.600.00.

With intriguing sense for detail Erich M. Simon drew this miniature artwork around 1910. It portrays Otto von Bismarck as a young student in the foreground and the famous signature of Bismarck is to be found in the right corner. Furthermore another Bismarck portrayal - in his older years as chancellor - takes up part of the background together with other German monarchs and heads of state.

In the student portrayal Bismarck is shown wearing the insignia of the fraternity corporation Corps Hannovera Goettingen and to the left of his feet we find the Bismarck family coat of mail.

Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg, Count of Bismarck-Schoenhausen, born Otto Eduard Leopold of Bismarck-Schoenhausen (1815-1898) was a Prussian and German statesman of the 19th century, born to a wealthy family. As Minister-President of Prussia from 1862 to 1890, he engineered the Unification of Germany. >From 1867 on, he was Chancellor of the North German Confederation. When the German Empire was declared in 1871, he served as its first Chancellor, gaining the nickname "Iron Chancellor".

The Corps Hannovera Goettingen is one of the oldest German Student Corps, a Studentenverbindung or student corporation founded 18 January 1809 at the Georg August University of Gottingen. The most famous member of Hannovera was Otto von Bismarck, who probably had the "wildest" time of his life in the course of his studies at Goettingen university, where, owing to his excessive boisterousness, he was forced to live outside the town walls and was once placed under arrest for a period of ten days in the university jail.

Erich M. Simon (1892 - 1978) was born in a little town in Pommern, and already at early childhood stage he was educated in drawing and painting by his mother. The family moved to Berlin in 1901 and young Erich's wish to become a professional painter constantly grew. At the age of 18 he was accepted as a student at the renown Berlin School of Arts and Crafts, and his teacher was the famous artist Emil Orlik. Besides his love for fine arts Erich M. Simon was fascinated with the world of literature and books. In the museum library he studied the illustrations of Menzel, Daumier, Guys, and Gavarni. Eventually he found his personal period of artistic life - the Biedermeier era.

As a young artist Simon created graphic designs for cigar boxes, chocolate packages, and other advertising products. His talent as an illustrator was soon discovered by the important publishers of the time: Kiepenheuer, Junker and Fleischel. Furthermore many members of the Berlin high society ordered their exlibris (bookplates) to be created by the more and more popular artist. In this busy period (1910 to 1913) Simon underwent two influential voyages to Paris where he discovered a deep love for antiques. From that time on he not only staged his imageries in a by-gone time, but also placed antique artifacts in his drawings.

During WW1 Simon was wounded and only slowly recovered in a military hospital. After being cured a change in his work, being less romantic and idealized, becomes evident. During this period the influence of his teacher Emil Orlik and his co-student George Grosz (1893 - 1959) becomes very clearly visible.


DATE: Around 1910.

ARTIST: Erich M. Simon (1892 - 1978).

MARKS: Artist's signature "Simon" at the lower left edge of the depiction.

MATERIAL: Ink on cardboard.

MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUE: Very fine hand painting.

CONDITION: Very Good ORIGINAL as found condition. NO RESTORATION!

SIZE: Size of the sheet is 4.2 x 7 inches.

Item ID: A3956

$950 USD

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