Koner, Sophie, widowed as Meyer, born Schäffer, painter in Berlin, born 13 July 1855 in London, died 1 June 1929 in Berlin. Female pupil of C. Duran in Paris, then of Max Koner in Berlin whom she married on 2 June 1886 [aged 31]. She made her first public appearance at the Exhibition of the Academy of Berlin in 1888 [aged 33] with a portrait of her husband. Between 1893 and 1920 she sent her exhibits to the Great Royal Academy of Berlin. Most of the exhibits were of children but there were also a few landscapes to start with. She achieved numerous distinctions, including the Gold Medal at the International Exhibition in Berlin in 1896 [aged 41]. Her charming youthful appearance [aged 29] is conveyed in a beautiful portrait painted by Max Koner in 1884 before they were married (vide infra).
Art Historian Dr David Cross has kindly supplied the Thieme-Becker entry and other references.
F. von Boetticher, Malerwerke des 19. Jahrhundert [Painting Works of the 19th Century] Volume I, page 2, 1895.
Max Jordan, book “Koner”, published by Velhagen and Klasing, Bielefeld and Leipzig 1901 [a year after Max Koner’s death], being Monograph LVI in Knackfuss’s monographs on artists.
Dressler’s Kunsthandbuch [Handbook of Art] Volume II, 1921.
A. Hirsch, Die Bildung Künstlerinnen der Neuzeit [The Development of Female Artists in Modern Times], Stuttgart 1905.
Katalogen der Berliner Akademie Ausstellung [Catalogues of the Berlin Academy Exhibition] 1888, 1890, and 1892.
Katalogen der Grossen Berliner Königliche Akademie [Catalogues of the Great Royal Academy of Berlin] 1893 to 1920 (häufig mit Abbildungen) [frequently with illustrations].
On Sophie Koner’s Husband Max Koner
Max Koner has a much longer entry in Thieme-Becker (also on page 263) and is the more illustrious of the couple. Born 17 July 1854 in Berlin, married to Sophie at age 32 in 1886, and died 7 July 1900 in Berlin aged 46. He studied with four masters in Berlin and travelled extensively in Europe. He made his first public appearance aged 26 at the Exhibition of the Academy of Berlin in 1880. Many famous men and women were painted by him. The Berlin Academy held a posthumous memorial exhibition of over 100 of his oil, water colour, and gouache (body colour) paintings in March 1901. There is an extensive bibliography.
Sophie Koner painted portraits of:
George David Klemperer 1904, (nickname The Patriarch),
His wife Maria 189?
His wife Maria with the infant Otto 1901, (nickname The Madonna). Comparison with contemporary photographs of Maria discloses that Koner has assumed some licence.
Otto 1903 (born 1899)Marie 1904 (Maili, born 1902)Hans 1907 or 8 (born 1904)Friedi 1912 (born 1909)Gog 1915 (born 1911)
These Portraits were probably all painted after her husband Max died. She was a widow again for 29 years and a very beloved friend of the family. The children enjoyed posing for her because she entertained them with stories while she painted them. She ostensibly painted each child at the age of three.