Ross Castle, Lake Killarney, Aston Bragg

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Fritz Althaus (1863-1962)

Fritz (Friedrich Bernhard) Althaus was born in Kent, and first learned to draw with the help of his mother who was a talented amateur portrait-painter. His father, born in Germany, was a Professor of Music. Fritz studied under Axel H Haig, a prominent artist who boarded with his family, followed by tutelage at St Martin's School of Art, the Westminster School of Art and the Royal Institution. Until 1893 he made his home in London, at Maida Vale, but later moved to Exeter. There he could paint along the coasts as far as Cornwall, including the Channel Islands, as well as cities such as Oxford and Cambridge. He joined the Newlyn colonyl of painters, and frequently exhibited at the Newlyn Art Gallery over a period of at least 6 years. His style became infused with the plein air realism, light and colour that exemplified the principles of the Newlyn art movement.

Althaus was a prolific marine painter up to 1900, with over 50 oils and watercolours to his name, yet his major works rarely come to the market. Almost all of his 14 RA exhibits were sea pieces off the Cornish and Devon coasts, one example being Cornish Luggers Running for Shelter (1888). He also exhibited 14 paintings at the Suffolk Street Galleries, London.

By 1908 Althaus was living in Headingley, Leeds and in 1912 he and his wife, Margaret Richardson Althaus (nee Henderson) had their first child, a son. Because of the Great War, Althaus changed his name to Frederick B KERR (c1915). In the name of Fred KERR he was made Professor of Art at Leeds University (Mallalieu). Because of the Great War, Althaus changed his name to Frederick B KERR around 1915.

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