It seems as if he looks with a little grimm against his viewer. Since saturday, however, he has been doing so cleaned and brighter. The talk is of ivo hennemann (1824-1900), probably the best known hermit of the staffelberg. His painting was ceremoniously returned to its original wall in the staffelbergklause at the weekend.
Retreat. Presumably this is the final word on the whole matter. For if the architect frank muller from kronach did not occasionally stop in at the klause, he would not have let his gaze wander here. Then he would have missed how darkened the stately painting looked in slow format. In its neighborhood another one with an eremite, also formerly taken by rub and from times when there was no smoking ban, and long since restored. This picture was virtually part 1 of a restoration project that muller initiated and that has now been brought to a conclusion. He and acquaintances or friends raised donations for it. There is also the assurance of a financial contribution of 1200 euros from the upper franconia foundation, and all this has also received support from hennemann’s hometown: oberleiterbach. Children and adults from there drove up the mountain with snow chains to get to the small ceremony, which culminated in the presentation of pictures and a lecture by the district curator of local history.
Stefan loffler is a restorer and was on site this saturday. When he opened the photo album, which offers a before/after view of the hennemann picture, one could not believe the obvious difference. On the left a figure in front of a blue cloudy sky, on the right a gloom. "The cleaning was difficult, there were several layers of dirt over which varnish was applied again and again (…), but never got to the actual painting layer", according to loffler, the picture painted on canvas ended up on a stretcher frame. "The cord from the frock had disappeared", the man from kronach remarked on a detail that had been lost in the darkness.
The restorer could not say who the painter was, but there was no doubt that it was a "good workmanship", the treasury around the middle of the 19th century. The painting was created in the early twentieth century.
3000 euro cost the work
Loffler put the cost of the two-month restoration at 3,000 euros, and it was paid for by people from ivo hennemann’s hometown. In oberleiterbach, many hennemanns still live today, and district local historian gunter dippold also pointed out that his own ancestors used to hennemann in this way. The soldiers’ comradeship and the village youth contributed financially, the latter even designed a calendar with lots for sale for 570 euro. But who was ivo hennemann actually? A question that was perhaps also asked by the children of oberleiterbach as they repeatedly sang the verse of the frankenlied in which the "einsiedelmann" (hermit man) sings and which they sang joyfully in the klause. "Exciting today is the refreshed hennemann", explained dippold, and indeed the life of this man, who is as well-known as he is unknown, offers stations that are worth considering. In february 1824 he saw the light of day. The pious hermit was concerned about the adelgundis chapel, which had no tower at all around 1870, and collected donations. Also for the hermitage, which, according to the recited record, "tilted very suspiciously towards the slope". Gunter dippold, full of knowledge and mischievous, familiarized the audience with hennemann’s work, with the facets of his everyday life and with anecdotes about him as a hermit.