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Born 4 August 1906 in Bonn; † 6th January 1980 in Stuttgart.

Painter, draftsman, graphic artist and illustrator.

Helmar obtained his education at the School of applied arts and Academy Berlin-Charlottenburg.

Since 1925 he worked as a freelance painter and draftsman in Berlin and 1928 he became an employee of the publishing house Ullstein.

Helmar took on the artist name Becker-Berke after his grandmother Franziska Berke.

In the 2nd world war Helmar worked as a war draftsman, and made a lot of sketches from daily life in Belarus, but occasionally he designed and delivered illustrations to posters for the German labour front.

After 1945, Helmar was press illustrator and picture editor in Stuttgart – for a while also theatre draftsman for the theatre in Stuttgart.

Helmar made lots of animal drawings and paintings, posters and numerous book decorations, here are just a few examples:

Arthur Berger, Simba der König der Steppe, Stuttgart 1953

Harry Bär, Sensation aus Menlo Park, Stuttgart 1953

ichard Katz, Von Hund zu Hund, Rüschlikon 1956

Julius Stinde, Die Familie Buchholz, Aufl. Hamburg 1962

Lewis Carroll, Alice im Wunderland, Stuttgart, Hamburg 1966


1 - 30 September 2017

Marietta Bonnet, the owner of Gallery Krebsen, is part of a German artist family - the Becker family - and this month she is showing works from no less than 4 generations of artists from this family. The family is presented in, where information on Marietta’s great-grandfather, her grandparents and her father can be found

Family member presentation:

CARL LEONHARD BECKER (great-grandfather)

The painter and copper engraver Carl Leonhard Becker came from the old Becker family of artists and gardeners.

His father was the art-gardener and illustrator Anton Becker, the "father" of the artist family Becker.

Carl Leonhard was married to Franziska Berke.

His son was the painter Hans-Josef Becker-Leber, married to the painter Sophia Becker-Leber.

His grandson, son of the aforementioned, was the draftsman and graphic artist Helmar Becker-Berke.

His daughter Elisabeth (1874-1942) was married to the renowned philosopher Joseph Geyser.

Becker studied at the Berlin Academy and was predominantly working as a painter and illustrator. He became interested in drawing and

engraving of Greek coins. He later produced numerous ex-libris.

Carl: Self-portrait, copper engraving,1879

Carl: Daughter Elisabeth, copper engraving:

Helmar Becker-Berke: Lion. Oil on canvas


Sophia was the daughter of the Bonn high school teacher Peter Leber and his first wife Elisabeth Büllesbach.

She attended a monastic school in the Dutch town of Groesbeek.

As the family story goes, Sophia needed to get away as her stepmother spent a large portion of the family income on bills for her officer son – for example for broken mirrors after a brawl in the officers’ mess – so Sophia decided to write directly to the empress and ask if she could obtain a grant to go to Berlin to study art! She got what she asked for.

In 1896 she began her education as an art painter at the Royal School of Art in Berlin. In 1897 she moved to the drawing and painting school of the Association of Artists and Friends of Berlin (VdKK) and in1898 to the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

In 1902 she married the almost seven-year-older painter Hans-Josef Becker-Leber in Bonn. The couple got three children: Hans, Eleonore (Lola), married Deventer, and Helmar. I

n Bonn, the couple first ran a painting and drawing school. In 1908 she founded the group "Vereinigte Künstler in Bonn 08" with her husband and other artists. In 1912, she followed her husband to Bückeburg, where he had received a position at the Princely School of Arts and Crafts (as stated earlier).

In 1912, Max Ernst assessed the work of the Becker-Leber couple quite critically – they were not artistically avantgarde, rather they were very much part of the better bourgeois society.

In 1930 the family moved to Berlin. There Sophia entertained a literary salon; among them were the writer, filmmaker, globetrotter and cabaret artist Hanns Heinz Ewers, the philosopher and theosophist Johannes Maria Verweyen, the clairvoyant Ursula Kardos, as well as Friedrich Christian zu Schaumburg-Lippe, adjutant of Joseph Goebbels. Just like Friedrich Christian at Schaumburg-Lippe, she belonged to the Militant League for German culture, which was dissolved in 1934.

While her husband painted landscapes and portraits, Sophia produced flower pictures, which they distributed in a shop in the Kurhotel Fürstenhof. After the Second World War the couple lived near Bückeburg, in the forest castle in Bad Eilsen.

In the family, there are still many stories told about Sophia, in loving respect for the temperamental, imaginative and resourceful woman as she was. For example her ability to transform a set of curtains into a ball dress within a couple of hours, painting the stitches violet.


Born January 13, 1876 in Berlin; † November 20, 1962 in Wedel. Hans Josef was the son of the painter and copper engraver Carl Leonhard Becker. In 1902 he married the almost seven-year older painter Sophia in Bonn. They had two sons, Helmar and Hans and a daughter, Lola. While Sophia devoted herself to flower paintings, Hans Josef specialized in landscapes and portraits.

While Sophia opened a painting and drawing school after the wedding in Bonn, Hans Josef directed a painting and drawing class for the city of Bonn and worked for the Provincial Conservator, decorating villas. The personal acquaintance with the sons Adolf and Moritz of the reigning Prince Georg von Schaumburg-Lippe, studying in Bonn, prompted him to apply for a position at the upcoming art and trade school in Bückeburg in 1912. Viktoria of Prussia, sister of Emperor Wilhelm II, and wife of Adolf II, who was in the meantime governing, patronized the project. The appointment was made, Hans Josef became princely official and the prince house provided a studio for private work. However, activities outside Schaumburg-Lippes required approval. Hans Josef did not receive the hoped-for management of the school.

Later, however, there was a disagreement with the Headmaster and the Cabinet Secretary. The family story is that the princess had wanted to show a group of young ladies the school and they were placed in a nude act class. For the young schoolgirls from the best families, drawing was regarded as completely unacceptable, so Hans Josef fell into disgrace. However, a dismissal of Hans Joseph, which was envisaged for 1913, was prevented by unexpected events. He was conscripted as a soldier to the First World War in 1914. In 1918 the prince dismissed and dissolved the school. Until 1924, there was a dispute with the court chamber about the free use of the studio and a compensation for the renouncement of the pension.

In 1930, the couple followed their sons, who studied in Berlin. Sophia created a literary salon in the capital. Her flower pictures were distributed by the spouses in a shop in Kurhotel Fürstenhof.

After the Second World War the couple moved back to Bückeburg



Oil on canvas 1897


Portrait of Helmar




Portrait of grandson Ralf

Oil on canvas


Sophia: Peonies, oil on canvas, 1951

Hans Josef: Portrait of Lola 14 years

oil on canvas, 1919


Portrait of Sofia

Oil on canvas


The eldest son of the couple Becker-Leber was born in Bonn-Poppelsdorf and went to school in the imperial period in Bückburg.

His education took place at the Art Academy and the Reimann School of Art and Design in Berlin.

Since 1929, Hans belonged to the ‘Verband der Pressezeichner’ in Berlin. He then worked as a freelance advertising artist.

Since 1935 he headed the fashion department of the textile and fashion school Berlin and married here his pupil Irmgard Becker, later known as the fashion designer Bessie Becker.

In1939 her son Michael, who now lives in Munich, was born.

In 1940 he voluntarily went to war as a draftsman and war journalist. Then he was brought to Dresden for technical material tests, where he survived the inferno in 1945.

In 1945 he tried to establish a new life in Munich together with Bessie. He created costumes and stage sets under the direction of Axel von Ambesser, Paul Verhoeven, and Helmut Käutner, and so on. Shortly thereafter, Bessie, who had a meteoric advancement after the war, separated from her husband, and he moved to Hameln as a freelance graphic artist. In the second marriage to Anna Marie Kahler, he became head of an advertising department in Hamburg and the family moved to Blankenese, then Wedel, where the three children Henrik, Diana and Gloria grew up.


Portrait of Helmar

Oil on canvas, 1926

Helmar: Rhinoceros hornbill, pencil, guache, 1932

Helmar: Tommy the terrier, oil on canvas


Painter and graphic artist, Hamburg

Education: Studies at the BTK College of Design in Hamburg: painting, illustration, free graphic lay-out, fashion photography and typography.

Studies at the University of Hamburg: Art Education

Techniques: Paintings / egg tempera, acrylic and oil, water colour, gouache drawings, crayons on wax base, pastel and oil chalk. (Feather) prints / etchings, aquatinta & lithographs, sculptures and collages / wood, clay, gypsum & metal

Publications: Children's books, book covers and calendars for publishers: Carlsen, Dressler, Ellermann, Oetinger, Ensslin.

Illustrations in various European journals: Brigitte, Petra, Girlfriend, Parent, Our Child, Elle.

Prints for ‘Essen und Trinken’ / colour etching ‘Wohindee’ / Colour litos

CD and record covers for Rüssel Studio and Polidor. Children's movies: Storyboard Design for the WDR Children's TV. Posters and flyers (brochures): Lesemöve (HÖB) Book hall Hamburg.

Awards: 1981 Main prize Petra (painting competition


              1990 Art Prize from the Lichtwark Society

              1999 Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe

                       (prize for bird masks)                                      





Born 1951 as a daughter of Beate geb. Bonnet and Helmut Becker-Berke in Schliersee, Bavaria.

1970 married and moved to Denmark, 1971-75 studied linguistics at the University of Copenhagen.

From 1985 Marietta spent her working holidays abroad and made pastel and oil crayon drawings. She had a joint studio with Johnny Williksen and Raimo Veranen.

At the end of 1991 co-founder and since 1992 owner of the galleri Krebsen in Copenhagen.

Study travels:

USA & Mexico 1976-77, South America 1980-81

Turkey 1985 and 1987

Norway, Lofoten and Northern Norway 1992, Western Norway 1998, 2005,

Wales 1993. Aeolian Islands, Italy 1994

Australia & Singapore 1995

Vancouver, British Columbia and Catalonia 1996.

Bali & Sumatra, Indonesia 1997.

Dominican Republic 1999

Vienna, Budapest, Croatia 2000

Turkey and Kina 2001, Kina and Czech Republic / Slovakia 2002

Lisbon and Andalusia 2004. Samos 2005.

Cuba 2005-2006, Dubai 2006.

Hong Kong, Philippines, South Korea 2015.

Hurtigruten trip, Northern Norway 2016.

Italy 2017

Legates and Awards: Georg Harms' Legat 1994. South Korea 2016

Received the Order of the First Class of the Finnish Lion Order April 2001

Diana: Seagull on bed, zinc lito

Diana: Woman with dripping fish, zinc lito

Diana: Woman with lizard, zinc lito

Marietta: Thunder over Sperlonga, Italy, pastel, 2017

Marietta: Evening in Monopoli, Italy, pastel, 2017

Marietta: Evening sun over Scilla, Italy, pastel, 2017

Hans-Josef:Portrait of Hans, oil on canvas, 1927