Herbstsonne by Edward Cucuel Reported Stolen

Photo of author

(Newswire.net — December 16, 2014)  — Mesa, AZ — “Herbstsonne” a prized family heirloom was reported stolen today.  The last known whereabouts of the painting was in a private vault in Mesa, Arizona.  According to a family spoksman, the oil painting had not been inventoried for several years.  It is unknown when or how the painting was removed from the vault.

An anonymous tip site has been set up.  Anyone who has seen this painting is encouraged to contact the FBI, or leave their information at this tip page: http://cucuel.replynow.ontraport.net/herbstsonne

About Herbstsonne by Edward Cucuel

Herbstsonne (Autumn Sun) by Edward Cucuel features Frieda Blell, a prominent painter in her own right, and the future wife of Leo Putz, another well known artist of the period.  Ms. Blell is shown in the autumnal park of Castel Hartmannsberg, on the shores of lake Chiemsee in the Chiemgau region of Bavaria.  A group of painters, known as “Die Scholle” comprised of Blell, Putz, Cucuel and others, met at this place during the summer and autumn months and painted each other in the beautiful landscapes.

Herbstsonne is oil on canvas, and measures 60 x 72 cm.  It is signed “Cucuel” on the lower left hand corner, and is signed again and titled “Herbstsonne” on the frame.

The painting was featured in the Muncher Sezession 1912 exhibit, where Cucuel was awarded the Silver Medal.


Emil Richter, Dresden

Acquired by current owner from private collection in Munich Germany, through Galerie v. Vertes (Munich) 1993 for DM89000.  Last inventoried in 2000. Current whereabouts are unknown.

About Edward A. Cucuel

Edward Cucuel, a man of two continents, was born in 1875, the son of a German newspaper publisher in San Francisco, CA.

His style was impressionistic and his favorite subjects were outdoor scenes with young women, often his soon-to-be wife Clara Lotte von Marcard and Frieda Blell, the companion of Leo Putz, as the main subjects. His works are characterized by bright colors, beautiful Bavarian landscapes, and en plein air social interactions among his subjects.

By the age of 14 Cucuel was doing illustrations for the local paper, The (San Francisco) Examiner.   As a young teen, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute. When the 17-year-old Cucuel was sent to Paris to further his studies, he entered the Académie Julian and the Académie Colarossi.  He also studied under Jean Léon Gérôme at the Académie des Beaux Arts.

In 1896, at the age of 21, Cucuel returned to the USA and settled in New York, where he worked again as a newspaper illustrator.

Finding no satisfaction in his illustrations, Cucuel soon returned to Paris to devote himself to his art. He spent two years there, and then travelled through France and Italy to study the old masters.

Cucuel went to Berlin in Germany in 1899, where he worked again as a free-lance newspaper illustrator.

In 1904 he returned once again to the U.S., this time as a reporter covering the St. Louis World’s Fair.  Following the Fair, Cucuel circumnavigated the world visiting Japan, China and Sri Lanka before returning to look after family interests in San Francisco following the great earthquake of 1906.

In 1907 Cucuel, now 32 years old, moved to once again to Germany, settling in Munich, where he would remain for the next 20 years. It was there that he became a friend of the German painter, Leo Putz, and was introduced to plein-air painting. He also became a member of the Munich Secession. 

In 1913, he became a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and exhibited with the Salon d’Automne after successfully exhibited some of his works in Paris.

That same year, he married Clara Lotte von Marcard, a friend of Putz and his wife Frieda Blell. Clara, an artist of renown in her own right, is known for her still life floral paintings. In 1915, Cucuel was honored with a silver medal for the work he submitted to San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition.

During the First World War, he lived in Holzhausen on the Ammersee, later establishing studios in Munich and Starnberg, his father’s hometown. From 1928 to 1939, he commuted between there and New York, where he spent the winters.

The beginning of World War Two forced him to leave Germany for good in 1939. He settled in Pasadena, California, where he lived until his death in 1954.

Cucuel painted prolifically; with more than 100 known surviving works in both oil and water color. His works may be seen at the Chicago Art Institute, the National Academy in New York, and the Carnegie Institute of Pittsburgh, as well as many other places in the U.S. and Europe.

Occasionally, Cucuel’s works come for sale.  Sothby’s lists 6 sales of Cucuel canvases in the past 10 years, fetching as much as $200,000 USD.