10.10. – 28.11.2021
“So long my best friend - I hug you a thousand times - I hold you very dear!
Your Ilde.” Written by Hilde from Italy in a 1999 Christmas letter to Milein in London.
Hilde and Milein were in the same class for ten years at the Goethe-Lyzeum in Düsseldorf.
They spent a happy childhood in the Rhineland with both their parents supporting their interest in art from an early age.
Due to the growing threat of National Socialism their paths separated in 1937 when Milein was sent to Switzerland to finish her schooling, emigrating to England two years later. Hilde survived the war in Germany and, having met Giovanni, an Italian prisoner of war, she decided to move to Italy with him once peace was declared. Milein’s first post-war letter reached Hilde in 1947 and they met in Turin three years later.
Hilde, who had studied sculpting in Munich and Düsseldorf, made a career in Italy primarily as a painter calling herself Ilde. Her work shows a deep understanding of the classical Italian painters and her motifs are inspired by her new surroundings: landscapes, people at work, still lives and religious subjects. Her paintings, watercolours and woodcuts were shown in many exhibitions in Italy.
Milein studied at the Slate School of Fine Art in England. She soon gained a reputation as a highly talented draftsman based largely on her drawings of musicians and dancers. Milein had the rare gift of capturing movement and character in her work. She also drew many leading cultural figures along with people simply going about their daily pursuits. As well as the drawings, her output includes paintings and prints and she is represented in many well-known museums in the UK and abroad.
In their many letters Hilde and Milein reminisced about their childhood and exchanged thoughts on their respective work.
“I often think of you with great warmth and gratitude, that we found each other.” Milein to Hilde in February 2007.
This exhibition is a centenary tribute to the lives and work of the two FRIENDS and ARTISTS from DÜSSELDORF.