Renate von Rosenberg
Da streifte mich ein Mädchen
A painter in Berlin
Walter Leistikow was able to capture the mood lyric and aesthetic enchantment of Berlin's Grunewald lakes like no other painter. At Kleiner Wannsee he created garden paintings with plants and flower bosquets rife with impressionistic colour. The secret garden as a mystic place, bridges symbolising connections, houses hidden behind trees as metaphors for home - settings that give free rein to dreams. The highlands, the surging ocean, and long-necked birds like swans and cranes also captivated him. Leistikow was a landscapist with a special feel for nature.
Naturally positive with a cheerful contemplation of things he possessed the gift of winning friends including Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth and Gerhart Hauptmann. Together with them he advocated for Berlin to become a capital for modern art in 1900. Equipped with high intelligence and mental agility, agile and sociable, while also being enormously diligent, he was the cofounder of the "Gruppe der XI", the Berlin Secession and the Association of German Artists. The comparatively short time of his work was supported by great artistic and personal strength and by his Danish wife Anna. Half his life he was in permanent conflict with incurable syphilis, which he had gotten from a poor girl in a desperate situation. In order to spare himself and his family the long time consequences and after trying numerous effectless treatments, he committed suicide. His legacy is a work of five hundred pictures.
Sometimes the literary imagination is more helpful and informative than the well-known vita. The beautiful ideas of Renate von Rosenberg put the already known data and facts in different imaginary worlds and spaces and let them shine in a completely different light. - Dr. Klaus Dirschauer