Luigi Kasimir was born in 1881, and his etchings have been popular in this country for over 75 years, ever since he came to the U.S. to do a series of etchings of the famous sights, from the New York skyline to the magnificent scenery of Yosemite. Luigi Kasimir was born in the town of Pettau, at that time a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He attended the Vienna Academy of Art, where William Unger gave him his first introduction to the technique of color etching.
It was also here that Kasimir met his future wife, Tanna Hoernes. Luigi inherited his talent from his ancestors, as did one of his sons, Robert. Luigi's 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 color etching. Before him, etchings were usually hand colored, often with less than perfect color application, or color etchings were printed from one plate. Kasimir first did a sketch from nature, usually in pastel. Then he transferred the design by hand on as many as two to six plates, printing one after the other by hand, applying the color on the plate by hand so each finished etching is a true original.
Mr. Kasimir died in 1962 in Grinzing, a suburb of Vienna. His wife, Tanna Kasimir-Hoernes, born in 1887,and 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 (having worked with him for so many years). Robert Kasimir, born in 1924, did many similar etchings, using the name F.O. Robert to sign his since Luigi did not allow him to use the Kasimir name until he was considered an accomplished artist. He studied in the USA for a while, and made war illustrations as well as many of the same subjects as his parents.