Born in Berlin in 1927, Edgar Freyberg emerged from a difficult wartime youth with a passion for the arts. Receiving meticulous training at the hand of the genre painter and portraitist Hein Konig, the observational qualities of which remain evident throughout his oeuvre, Freyberg would emerge as one of the leading European marine painters of the latter 20th century.
An artist who truly found his specialism, Freyberg spent his career studying the interaction of water, surf and light in his repeated studies of the seashore. The simplicity of Freyberg’s palette, largely blues, whites and pinks, is juxtaposed against a mastery of highlights and brushwork that creates the texture of crashing waves, illuminated by sunlight emerging through the clouds.
Although he would base himself on Germany’s Northern coastline, in Schleswig-Holstein, Freyberg would also spend his career working between the UK and the US, always searching for new coastal imagery. His compositions would expand into including ships and coastal cities but would always be underpinned by his understanding of the water.
Freyberg’s work is today held throughout Europe and America and is particularly concentrated at the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg, where he is celebrated as one of Germany’s leading marine painters. His work remains popular for its subtle and unique understanding of the sea, captured by Freyberg with such brilliant simplicity.
Gladwell and co. in London have dealt in his work since the 1960s.