Melchior Lechter, German

(1865-1936)

Melchior Lechter was born October 20, 1865, in Münster, Westphalia; died October 8, 1937, in Raron, Wallis. After completing an apprenticeship in glass painting in Münster, Melchior Lechter began studying at the Academy of Art in Berlin in 1884. There he met the author Stefan George in 1895, whose works he illustrated from 1897 until 1907. Furthermore, he had an important role in the “Blätter für die Kunst” (“Art Pages”), also published by George. His painting style was influenced by the Preraffaelites. 
In his book illustrations, the influence of William Morris can be seen, though he developed his own style of surface division and exquisite script style. His themes are taken over from George in their mysterious imagery. Beside his work as an illustrator and designer, Melchior Lechter received assignments for a series of larger works, such as the design of the Pallenberg Hall in the Commercial Art Museum in Cologne, which was honored at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1900. In 1907, Melchior Lechter received a commission for a glass painting for the new building of the museum at the Domplatz in Münster. On the occasion of the dedication of the Lumen-de-Lumine window, Lechter’s works were exhibited together for the first time in Münster.