WREDE, Maria Elisabeth. [Landscapes in Rhodes, 1918.]
Maria Elisabeth Wrede (1898-1981) was an artist of Austrian origin, born in Salzburghofen. She lived most of her life and died in Paris. A student of Fernand Léger and Amédée Ozenfant, Wrede was part of the circle of Paul Valéry and Ivan and Claire Goll and was friends with painter Robert Delaunay and his wife Sonja Delaunay-Terk. Wrede was a talented painter, with a special inclination for watercolour. She became known mainly for her portraits of famous people, such as Jean Cocteau, Valéry and his wife, André Maurois, Colette, Picasso e.a., which she drew in pencil. Wrede’s drawings are included in other travel accounts, such as “Cyclades” by Aloys de Marignac of 1936.
She travelled to Rhodes at a young age. There she made the drawings in pencil, or pencil and watercolour which compose this rare and exquisite album. Its subjects include landscapes in the country, neighbourhoods in the town of Rhodes, the port, the main commercial street in the old town, kafeneia, a wood oven, mosques, women’s costumes, a loom etc. Wrede’s technique as well as her art convey the amenity of the Mediterranean landscape and the simplicity and frugality of public and private life in this island of the Eastern Mediterranean that held such a fascination for Western European travellers.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou