Karl Weschke

  • Weschke1
    The Nile near Kom Ombo 1994
  • Weschke2
    Feeding Dog 1976-1977
  • Weschke3
    Karl Weschke by Andrew Lanyon 1962
  • Weschke4
    Leda and the Swan 1985

Karl Weschke

Porthmeor Studio 8 1958, Studio 9 1984-1993

The German painter, Karl Weschke (1925-2005), suffered a dreadful home life, and was also conscripted into the Hitler Youth. During the Second World War, he was captured after his first parachute jump and kept in a Scottish prisoner of war camp. Following his release in 1948, he went to London and worked in a Soho stonemason’s yard.

Weschke was brought to St Ives by fellow artist Bryan Wynter in 1955, and in 1960 settled in a small house overlooking the sea in Cape Cornwall which was to become his base for the rest of his life. He liked his isolation, which featured in many of his paintings where he combined the subjects of landscape and myth.

He was never a central member of the St Ives school since his experiments with abstraction were shortlived, but he was close friends with Bryan Wynter, Roger Hilton and the poet WS Graham. He also got on well with Francis Bacon whom he met at Porthmeor Studios. They would visit each other’s studios and the friendship continued when Bacon moved back to London, though Weschke recalls that initially each disliked the other’s work.