Monday, April 16, 2018

Walter Gotschke Illustrates Adler

Walter Gotschke (1912-2000) is considered by many automobile art fans as one of the very best in that field. Some background regarding him can be found here and here. I wrote about him here, but might have overstated things when I asserted that he was self-taught. Gotschke was trained in architecture, so must have received some basic training in drawing and watercolor (the latter commonly used for presentations in those days).

His career until he went blind in his early 70s was as a commercial illustrator specializing in automotive subjects. Some of this was for advertising, other works were commissioned as editorial material for magazines. The latter were usually racing scenes created with pen, watercolor and gouache (as best I can tell), often done in an impressionistic, almost slapdash manner.

Below are some examples that appeared in Automobile Quarterly, a horizontal format hardbound publication (Volume 15, No. 4, 1977). Gotschke's work was in conjunction with an article about the Adler, an automobile company based in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany.

Due to AQ'a horizontal format (chosen because cars are wider than they are tall, so are best presented that way) combined with my scanner's capabilities, most of the images below are either partial or fragmented. Much of this was because Gotschke's illustrations were splashed across the "gutter" over two facing pages.


Eröffnung der Autobahn Frankfurt-Darmstadt (opening of the first Autobahn section), 1935. A lineup of Adlers is seen here.

Right-hand segment of the same illustration showing Der Führer behind the Mercedes in the foreground.  The "gutter" line can be seen towards the left side of this scan.

Start of the 1937 race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. The red cars are Alfa-Romeos, the ones in the foreground painted blue are Delages, and the two white cars are Adlers.

Scene featuring an Adler at the 1937 race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Adler streamline rennwagen during a nighttime pit stop at 24 Heures du Mans, 1937. At the left is Mme Anne-Cécile Rose-Itier who co-drove an Adler Trumpf with Huschke von Hanstein, later Porsche's racing director.

Right side of same illustration. Adler is the German word for eagle, and an eagle symbol is on the car's grille.

Adler Trumpf 1.5-liter racing car of the type shown in the previous images. Note Gotschke's treatment of reflections on the shiny body of the car.

1938 Adler 2.5-liter limousine. His handling of color and reflections is even more impressive in this illustration fragment.  Note how he combines cool blue-gray sky reflections with the warm brown/tan body color.

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