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Fränzi was the most favoured model of the Brücke artists during the most significant late Dresden period. Lina Franziska Fehrmann, born in Dresden in 1900, met the artists in 1909. Heckel spoke many years later of their meeting “In my memory…she is a special event in 1909”. Gerd Presler writes that “Heckel was particularly inspired by the ‘child’ Fränzi” and that, as we know, both he and Kirchner and Pechstein would paint her standing side by side, even using the same paints. She first accompanied the artists on their visits to the Moritzburg lakes in the summer of 1909 and ever since has become an emblem of this period of Brücke art. She modeled in the Studio in Dresden and returned with the artists to the lakes again in the summer of 1910. The artists produced numerous sketches and paintings of Fränzi in a short period. Gerd Presler writes “Finally he (Heckel) achieved the creative event that Fränzi had set in motion, the high point in two colour woodcuts and among the best of Brücke Expressionist prints: ‘Stehendes Kind (Fränzi stehend) (Standing Child) and Fränzi liegend (Fränzi reclining)”. This period at the Moritzburg lakes was the decisive period for the artists as a group. “Never before and never afterwards were they so close to each other, both personally and artistically” and Fränzi is the ultimate symbol of this period. (see Gerd Presler, Fränzi, End of an error. Three “Brücke” Artists – One Model, Presler 2015).
The Brücke group was founded in Dresden in 1905. Membership of the group was designed to be both ‘active’ and ‘passive’. Apart from the founding members Kirchner, Fritz Bleyl, Heckel and Schmidt-Rottluff, later Pechstein, Nolde and Otto Mueller, the small group of ‘active’ members temporarily also included artists from further afield, such as the Swiss Cuno Amiet and the Finnish painter Akseli Gallén-Kallela. The group of ‘passive’ members on the other hand was to be drawn from the artist’s circle of friends and patrons, with the intention of establishing a body of firm and loyal supporters. Their membership fee was to provide a regular and vital, albeit small, source of income for the artists. In return for their annual subscription of initially 12 Marks, increased in 1911 to 25 Marks, the members would receive a membership card as well as an annual report and a presentation of three or four prints. In 1906-08, the prints were by various artists, in 1909-12 the presentation consisted of three prints by one artist, contained within a paper wrapper with a woodcut title by another artist of the group.The VI Jahresmappe of 1911 was dedicated to Erich Heckel and included the colour woodcut Stehendes Kind as well as a lithograph, Szene im Wald (D. 153) and the drypoint Strasse am Hafen (D. 91), all from 1910. The woodcut cover on blue paper was provided by Max Pechstein. The exact size of the edition is not known. However, Kirchner’s four woodcut lists of the ‘passive members’ (D. 700-704; published 1910 in the Brücke exhibition catalogue of Galerie Arnold, Dresden), cut between 1907 and 1910 as their numbers grew, name a total of 68 supporters. It seems safe to assume that a year later, in 1911, the number of members and hence the edition of the VI. Jahresmappe would not have greatly exceeded a total of seventy.