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Helga von Cramm (1840-1919),[1] was a German and Swiss water-colourist and graphic artist.[2]
Christmas card with PULCHELLUM Odontoglossum cirrhosum and prayer by Marianne Farningham.

Baroness Helga von Cramm lived in Britain, Switzerland (St. Moritz), Germany and Italy (1880 - 1892, and Florence, 1884).[3]
Chromolithograh, No 3. Snow-ranunculus, Alpine heartsease, & Silene, with prayer by Y.E.T.

In the United Kingdom, from 1877, she exhibited at the:

Society of Women Artists (33 or 34);[4]
Royal Scottish Academy (2);
Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (1);
Dudley Gallery (2);
Fine Art Society (1);
Glasgow Institute (1);
Grosvenor Gallery (1);
Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts (1);
Royal Society of British Artists (3),
and at a few other places such as the Graves Gallery in 1908.[5]

Her SWA showings: 1877 (x1); 1879 (x4); 1880 (x4); 1881 (x3); 1882 (x4); 1883 (x3); 1884 (x3); 1885 (x3); 1886 (x1); 1889 (x2); 1890 (x2); 1892 (x2); 1901 (x1); 1910 (x1).[6]

Some paintings, with prices and location, exhibited in her lifetime

View of the Dent du Midi, Canton Valais, £21 (SWA, 1877);
The Daubenlake on the Gemmi-Sunrise, £30 (RSBA, 1878);
Varese, £25, & Stressa, Lago Maggiore, £25 (RSBA, 1878);
The Jungfrau, 42 guineas, (RHA, 1878);
Castle of Chillon, £52 (SWA, 1879);
Pitlochrie on the Tummel, £45 (SWA, 1880);
San Terenzo, £63 (SWA, 1882);
Sunset, Zermatt, £25 (SWA, 1883);
The Madonna del Sasso, Lake Maggiore, £40 (SWA, 1892);
Autumn Leaves, Hyde Park, £7 (SWA, 1901);
Madeira, £25 (SWA, 1910).

Her aristocratic family

Freiherrin/baroness (Freiin) Helga was the eldest child of Wolf Frederick Adolf Freiherr von Cramm-Burchard (Rhode, Landkreis Gifhorn, North Saxony 1812– Baden-Baden 1879), by his wife, Hedwig (1819- Wiesbaden 1891) daughter of Philipp Lebrecht von Cramm-Oelber (1819–1891).[7] Helga's father, Wolf Frederick Adolf, son of Friedrich Karl August von Cramm, (1768-1816) by Charlotte Sophie von Uetterodt, (1786-1858), having been brought up in the Court at Brunswick, educated at the court of knights, served in the Brunswick Cuirassiers (cuirvasser), was an equerry and an hereditary Chamberlain and Lord of the Kings Bedchamber (that of William VIII of Braunschweig). Later he retired to his estate at Rhode. Her brother Aschwin Thedel Adelbert Freiherr v. Sierstorpff-Cramm, (Lohndorf, Bavaria, 1846 - Woynowo 1909), is one of the four great-grandfathers of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, 1980-2013, now Princess Beatrix, and mother of the present king, Willem-Alexande. Helga was thus a great-great aunt of the former Dutch Queen.

In 1885 aged about 45 and he c72 (only a year younger than her father), she married landed Brunswickian politician (Kammerpräsident & landwirtschaftlicher Politiker) Erich Griepenkerl (1813–88).[8][9] Sadly, this son of Friedrich Konrad Griepenkerl (1782-1849) and brother of Wolfgang Robert Griepenkerl (1810-1868) died three years later.[10]
Helga von Cramm and the poet and hymn writer F. R. Havergal
Helga von Cramm, chromolithograph, No. 5. Dianthus silvestris, Gnaphalium leontopodium (Edelweiss), with Havergall prayer, circa 1877.
Chromolithograoh, No. 5. Alpenrose, Gentian, and St. John's Lily. With F. R. Havergal prayer.

Frances (Fanny) Ridley Havergal (1836-1879, aged 42) and her sister, Maria (1821-1887), met Helga (with a Miss Carmichael) in Champéry, in the south-western Swiss canton of Valais, late summer 1876.

This lead, 1879 - 1880, to v. Cramm illustrating collections of Havergal's poems.

The meeting is described in the Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal.[11]

Another Champéry friendship was with the
Baroness Helga von Cramm. We were staying
in the same pension ; and a few words the first
time we met resulted in many pleasant en-
twinings of work. I give my sister's reference to
the fact, in a letter to Mr. W_ _ .
One of my Champéry gains was the Baroness Helga v.
Cramm ; such an artiste, every picture is a poem, such
a soul in all she paints ; her two specialities [sic] are Alpine
scenery with the weirdest effects of snow and clouds, and
the marvellous [sic] beauty of the tiny Alpine flowers. Well
now, of course, she wants to paint for Jesus somehow !
So I suggested that we might do something together,
and we would first ask Him to give me half-a-dozen nice
little Easter verses (new ground to me!), and then that
He would hold her hand, and make her do some ex-
quisite flowers. so the verses all came tumbling in that
evening !

This also resulted in a sonnet, addressed by Frances Ridley Havergal to her friend, Baroness Helga von Cramm.

To Helga. (September 19, 1876, Champéry)

COME down, and show the dwellers far below

What God is painting on each mountain place !
Show His fair colours, and His perfect grace,

Dowering each blossom born of sun and snow :
His tints, not thine ! Thou art God's copyist,

O gifted Helga ! His thy golden height,
Thy purple depth, thy rosy sunset light,

Thy blue snow-shadows, and thy weird white mist.
Reveal His works to many a distant land !

Paint for His praise, oh paint for love of Him !

He is thy Master, let Him hold thy hand,

So thy pure heart no cloud of self shall dim.

At His dear feet lay down thy laurel store,
Which crimson proof of thy redemption bore.

In The autobiography of Maria Vernon Graham Havergal, (published by James Nisbet, edited by her sister Jane Miriam Crane, 1887), there is mention of the: .. steep path to Eisenfluh, from whence Helga painted her marvellous [sic] Moonlight on the Jungfrau, .. and in the same volume a diary entry reads thus:

24th May 1879, Our friend, the Baroness, left us ; but she was not uneasy about Frances. ... Helga's pictures were by her bed...
[Fanny said]
'Strangely sweet ! tell Helga her pictures take my
thoughts away from the pain, -up there' .

Havergal died about nine days later from peritonitis at home in Caswell Bay, Swansea, 3 June 1879.[12]

Books containing illustrations by von Cramm

Life Mosaic: The Ministry of song and Under the Surface, by Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879), 12 chromo-lithographed plates of Alpine scenery & b/w illustrations throughout, Nisbet & Co, 21 Berners Street, London, 1879.
Edie's Letter; or, Talks with the little folks, by the Rev. George Everard (1828-1901) [of Wolverhampton, an Evangelical], William Hunt & Co., London, 1879, with engravings from designs by the Baroness Helga von Cramm.
Sunbeams from the Alpine Heights, 12 chromo-lithographs of Alpine flowers, printed & published by E. Kaufman, Lahr Baden, c1880. 'Illuminated by the Baronesse Helga von Cramm'.
Swiss Letters and Alpine Poems, Frances Ridley Havergal, J. Miriam Crane (ed), 12 chromo-lithographs, James Nisbet & Co., 21 Berners Street, London, 1882.
Life Chords Comprising Zenith, Loyal Responses, and Other Poems, by Frances Ridley Havergal, 12 chromo-lithographed plates, Nisbet & Co. Ltd., London, 1880 & 1885.
Life Echoes. [In verse.] ... With a few selected pieces by W. H. Havergal. ... With ... illustrations by the Baroness H. Von Cramm. [With a preface by Maria Vernon Graham Havergal.], London; Edinburgh [printed] : Nisbet & Co., 1883.
Alpine cards, published by C. Caswell, 135, Broad-street, Birmingham, c. 1880.
Die ewigen Berg, by Hans Tharau [Anna Thekla von Weling (1837-1900), an Evangelical], Gotha, F. A. Perthes, 1882, six illustrations by Helga v. Cramm. (Ararat, Sinai, Karmel, Horeb, Gilboa, Juda, Zion, Libanon, Ölberg, Golgatha, Predigtberg ...), pps.236.


Korners of Kiev
Solo show in frame-makers, carvers and gilders, Messrs. Rowley of Barton Square, Manchester. Charles Rowley (1839-1933) was Rossetti's frame-maker, see in Manchester City Art Gallery the portrait of him by Ford Madox Brown, 1885 and here. The Manchester Guardian's review of her show read: ... oils and watercolours of foreign landscapes, particularly Egyptian; Switzerland, the Canary Islands, the Black Forest, and Genua. The subjects are many of them striking, and travellers are likely to appreciate the pictures as mementos of beautiful scenes. The treatment is not piquant, but it has considerable suavity.
Her addresses given in exhibition catalogues were: c/o S. Jennings (printseller/framer), 16 Duke Street, Manchester Square, London; c/o Peter Dennison, 70 Wellington Street, Glasgow in 1892; around 1900 c/o New Victoria Club, 30a Sackville Street; otherwise Florence; or 188 Cromwell Road, Kensington, London.
The Society of Women Artists Exhibitors 1855-1996, Charles Baile de Laperriere (ed.), 1996
The Times of 24 March 1908 in its Court and Social page described how: The Princess of Wales visited the Graves Galleries [6 Pall Mall, London] to inspect the exhibition of 'Flower Gardens and Scenes in Sunny Lands', by the Baroness Helga von Cramm.
The Society of Women Artists Exhibitors 1855-1996, Charles Baile de Laperriere (ed.), 1996
Heinbruins of The Netherlands.
On 19 November 1896, a c. 50-year-old Helga Griepenkerl arrived in New York having sailed from Bremen to New York via Southampton on the Lahn.
Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal, by her Sister (1880) M. V. G. (Maria Vernon Graham) Havergal, including an autobiography
Frances Ridley Havergal's Last Week, (1879), by Maria Vernon Graham Havergal


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