Walter Gotschke is one of the names intimately linked with the early history of automotive art, a subset of illustration that followed the rise of the importance of automobiles themselves in the 20th Century.
Gotschke was born in the Czech Republic, but spent much of his career in Germany while it was under nazi rule and was drafted into military service during WW II. His portrayals of German cars, including many advertisements for mercedes and Diamler, were accompanied by illustrations of WW II era aircraft and other non-automotive subjects.
His illustrations of various automobiles also included Italian, American and other car makers.
Gotschke is perhaps most often associated with his lively, sketch-like gouache illustrations of classic racing cars, roaring around tracks, their distinctive grilles punching through dust and smoke, as daredevil drivers coaxed the machines through twists and turns.
These were often briefly noted, with crisp strokes of gouache, hazes of wash and bright but not preternaturally intense colors. Gotschke also created more developed paintings, some of which you will find on the official website under “Art Prints: Cultural History” (image above, top).
The site itself suffers a bit from awkward navigation, and you’ll find that searching through the Picture Library quickly moves from the English language areas into the German language part of the site.
A little digging, however, will uncover many examples of Gotschke’s watercolor and gouache representations of the 20th Century’s obsession and fascination with the automobile.
[Suggestion courtesy of David Teter]