The story of the artist Leonhard Blum(e)

Leonhard Blum(e), born on 07.03.1857 in Gunzenhausen, was the sixth child of the stone mason Conrad Blum(e), born on 20.11.1819 in Gunzenhausen and his wife Margarethe Henriette Mathilde Funk, born on 19.05.1823 in Fürth.

In 1847 the family converted to the Protestant faith.
Source : Gunzenhausen municipal archive

Their son Leonhard was therefore christened in the Gunzenhausen town church.

The following entry can be found in the baptismal register of the Protestant dean

"1857; 10. Johann Leonhard Blum, legitimate son (sixth child) of the stone mason Conrad Blum of this parish and his wife Margarethe, née Funk from Fürth, was born on the seventh of March (7. March) at 6 o'clock in the morning, christened on the 15th, godfather Johann Leonhard Schlennert, master carpenter, of this parish."

We haven't been able to discover when the family changed its name from Blume to Blum.

Leonhard Blum worked as an architect until he was 33, according to him this was at his father's wish.  On his father's death he attended the private art school of Simon Holósky, a Hungarian, in Munich and took up painting. He seems to have been successful as he was regularly featured in the exhibitions at the Munich Glass Palace as of 1902.

He was elected President of the Munich Association of Artists' Aid in 1911, a position he held until his death.  Following the First World War, the Government of the State of Bavaria conferred the title of Professor on him.

In 1922 he and his wife took on the management of the Artists' Benevolent Home which had been set up by his association in the Neuburg Castle (near Passau).

Source : Wilhelm Lux in Old-Gunzenhausen, issue number 41


According to Dr Hartleb of Passau's Department of Culture, he is probably buried in the Dommelstadeler Cemetery.  He writes on page 219 of the book "Neuburg am Inn - Castle stately home garden, ruin and artists mansion"

In July 1921 Leonhard Blum, President of the Association of Artists' Aid insisted on its promised handing over to the Association, as the impatient artists were hoping for a home for artists in need, providing free board and lodging in those difficult times.

Visitors to the castle wrote about their impressions :

….Before us stood Professor Blum together with his delightful wife, our friendly, always good tempered host, always ready with explanations.

…a word of thanks….. to the esteemed Professor Blum and his wife, who obviously so much enjoyed spreading a feeling of wellbeing, of joy for life, who showed all the beauty of the castle at its finest, who was willing to explain everything at length, sometimes until late at night when the young ones were enjoying dancing in the warm summer nights.

Blum – painting Alt-Gunzenhausen issue 41 1985

Until now only a few works of Leonhard Blum are known to us.  Wilhelm Lux wrote about this painting in Alt-Gunzenhausen : A collector from Abensberg found a portrait last year in an antique dealers in Scuols in Unterengadin.  It shows a middle-aged man sitting in an armchair and is signed "Leonhard Blum, Paris 1922".  From the painting technique the picture could be attributed to the impressionist style, as represented by the famous Max Liebermann…

The sitter of the portrait is unknown.

Leonhard Blum's pictures were frequently to be seen in the Munich Glass Palace as of 1902.  His works were also present in the Berlin Art Exhibition.

Glass Palace in Munich
Glass Palace in Munich

Some of Leonhard Blum's paintings that were exhibited

Exhibition Catalogue of the Bavarian Library …

We have not been able to trace any paintings of Leonhard Blum in Gunzenhausen.  The names of his siblings are unknown, nor their fate.