Visionary Landscapes – Automatic Paintings from the Hand of a Medium
Nürnberg, 1879 – 1947 Ruhpolding (Germany)
Heinrich Nüsslein insisted that he was not an artist, but that his unique paintings were a type of “Picture Writing” (Bilderschreiben) through which spirits “from other worlds and other planets” manifested themselves. He worked in semi-darkness, sometimes with his eyes closed, insisting, “It is not “I” who paint, but “it” that paints.”
Nuesslein was originally a successful fine art and antique dealer in Nürnberg. In the 1930s, after being introduced to the parapsychology and the esoteric arts, he became internationally well-known (and controversial) as a spiritualist and medium. It was said that he had the power power to prolong the life of fresh-cut flowers for several days by making passes over them, and that he mummified dead bodies. He began to paint in the 1920s.
Working in a trance-like state, Nuesslein executed each painting with extraordinary rapidity. Most took less than 15 minutes to create. During his 20 some years of artistic activity, he is estimated to have created some 20,000 fantastic, spiritualist landscapes, populated by ghost like figures and otherworldly temples and ruins.
Nueßlein’s works were featured in a 2005 exhibition at the Susanne Zander Gallery in Cologne entitled “Vom Fremder Hand gefuehrt, Kunst von Medien” (Led By Another’s Hand – the Art of Mediums). Other artists in the exhibit included Madge Gill, Margarete Helde and Agatha Wojciechowsk.