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Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971) Peacocks

Jessie Arms Botke is recognized as one of the great decorative painters of her era, specializing in images of birds rendered with her signature gold leaf technique.
Born in Chicago, she trained at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago beginning in 1902. Botke took her first trip to the West in 1906, bartering several paintings for a round-trip ticket on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. In 1909, she embarked on a three-month trip to Europe, returning home to Chicago with renewed determination and focus.

In 1911, Botke moved to New York and was hired by Albert Herter for a position at the Herter Looms. It was through one of Herter's commissions that Botke started painting images of birds. In 1915 she married Cornelis Botke, a Dutch artist living and working as an architectural renderer in Chicago. Both she and Cornelis often worked on large commissions, and it was her commercial popularity that gave the couple its financial stability.

After several years in Chicago, the couple moved in 1919 to Carmel, California. They briefly lived in Los Angeles in the late 1920s before buying property and building a ranch in Wheeler Canyon, Ventura County, California, in 1929. It was from this rather unlikely spot that Botke orchestrated her career while tending to the duties of the ranch. Maintaining an exhausting painting schedule throughout her lifetime, she exhibited at venues such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Academy of Western Painters, and the National Association of Women Painters and Sculptors. (Patricia Trenton, Deborah Epstein Solon. Birds, boughs and blossoms: Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971))

Alexander von Bensa (1820-1902) Austrian Painter

Baron Alexander von Bensa was very popular and had numerous commissions. Bensa mostly painted war scenes which achieved recognition and high prices. Among his clients were the nobility of the Viennese court - Archduke Joseph Ferdinand of Austria, Prince August Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Emperor Franz Joseph I had many of the artist's paintings in his collection. He exhibited at the Austrian Art Association and the Vienna Künstlerhaus. There's a street named after Bensa in Vienna.

Return to the castle

Excursion near the palace

Jarek Puczel (Poland)

Jarek Puczel "explores the empty silence of different situations and reduces the image to the most essential details, thus forcing us to read between the lines and let ourselves dive into the situation depicted." Jarek Puczel (b.1965) received his MA from the University of Warsaw in 1990. His artworks have been exhibited in Europe and the United States.
Girl on a seesaw

At School 1



George Underwood, Contemporary Artist (UK)

In 1963 George Underwood joined Beckenham Art School. While studying art he became interested in music and soon decided to pursue a music career. He made one record with his friend David Bowie and a solo record under the name Calvin James.

Eye Shadows 
He later returned to art studies and worked as an illustrator in design studios, specialising in fantasy and science fiction book covers. He created covers for the first T Rex album and David Bowie’s Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust albums.

Be Somebody
In the beginning of 1970s the artist started painting in oils. His artwork was influenced by the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism artists as Ernst Fuchs, Rudolph Hausner and Eric Brauer.
Imagination is the key word in George's paintings. He rarely uses live models nowadays, prefering to invent people who inhabit their own personal world.
Striped Sleeves


Shuai Mei Contemporary Chinese Artist

Shuai Mei was born in Beijing in 1969, where she studied at National School of Fine Arts. She exhibited in Malaysia, Singapore, later in New York. (egg tempera on canvas)

Merry Chamber, 2006

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