Luigi Kasimir needs no introduction; his etchings have been popular in this country fo 40 years, ever since he came to the U.S. to do a series of etchings of the famous sights, from the New York skyscrapers to the imposing scenery of Yosemite Valley.
Luigi Kasimir was born in 1881 in the town of Pettau, at that time a part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. He attended the Vienna Academy of Art which was to be of twofold importance to him: first he studied under William Unger, who gave Kasimir his first introduction to the technique of the colored etching. Secondly, he met Tanna Hoernes, who became his wife.
Luigi inherited his talent from his ancestors, as did his son, Robert; his grandfather was a painter and poet, and his father an officer in the Hapsburg army, who later became a professional painter.
As for Kasimir's technique: black and white etchings had been popular for hundreds of years, but Luigi Kasimir was among the first to develop the technique of the color etching. Before him, etchings were usually handcolored, with the color being applied in a sloppy haphazard manner, or color etchings were printed from one plate. Kasimir first did a sketch from nature, usually in pastel. Then he trasferred the design by hand on as many as four to six plates, printing one after the other by hand, applying the color on the plate by hand. The finished etching is a true original.
Luigi died in 1962 in Grinzing, a suburb of Vienna. His wife, Tanna Kasimir-Hoernes, born in 1887, who died in 1972, was an accomplished artist in her own right. Her technique as well as subject matter is, naturally, similar to Luigi's after having worked with him for so many years.