Leo Frank and his twin brother Hans were born and raised in Vienna, Austria on May 13, 1884.  Both brothers started their artistic training at the Kunstgewerbeschule, the school of applied or decorative arts, which was a sensible thing to do if one wanted to have a good chance at making a living in the arts.  They remained there from 1903 to 1907, studying under Anton von Kenner, a famous painter of his time.  They then moved on to the Akademie der bildenden Künste, the Academy of Fine Arts, where they studied under Franz Rumpler, from 1907 to 1911.

Leo Frank, again like his brother, was a painter and a printmaker.  His paintings are mostly conventional, though he did also paint in a style influenced by Art Deco tendencies.  As a printmaker, he seems to have been part of a Japonist movement, but also influenced by color woodcuts from the Arts and Craft movement in Britain.  The landscape, depicted in watercolor tones, dominates in his oeuvre.  Mountains and the birds of prey they house, loom large.  Even when depicting flat horizons or farmers at work, his scenes are expansive, this despite the small scale of most of his compositions.  Leo Frank died on May 26, 1959 in Perchtoldsdorf, a scenic Medieval town on the outskirts of his native Vienna.

Leo Frank - Hans Frank - Seeadler - Sea Eagle - color woodcut - detail

Sea Eagle


Seeadler (original German title) Color woodcut on thin japon paper, circa 1920.Edition unknown, but likely small.Signed in pencil.