Human Landscape – Two Family Albums



These sketches were made in 2007, to celebrate a family book created by Kay and Ursula Schlapp.  The family tree descends from Lutherans.  Nowadays they are all string players, they play the lute. There is also a direct line from the 15th century portrait painter Lucas Cranach –  a ‘leonardo’ and successful merchant who pioneered the German Renaissance.  Another of Cranach’s descendents along a different string, is Goethe of Weimar.

Otto Schlapp and Anna Lotze took a walking tour through south Germany for their honeymoon.  They carried these integrated talents, philosophy and love of nature into the academic life of Edinburgh university and the 20th century.  Settling there in 1889, their home became a cultural oasis, where music was played and kindred spirits found refuge.  These values unobtrusively bridged and helped to heal, in a grass-roots way, the warring countries, England and Germany.

The same subconscious gift of dedication remains fertile through their descendents’ activities.  After the first Great War, their daughter Helene married Jim Ede.  He was to become the creator of Kettles Yard in Cambridge – a gallery, a way of life, an avant-garde cultural and spiritual oasis.

During the 20th century, particularly during and after the two wars, there were many such private initiatives to keep the peace.

The Cranach sketch is a copy from Durer’s drawing.  I included Beethoven in the album, because his late Quartets were Walter Schlapp’s inspiration! –  and his sister Helene’s, the way she played the Waldstein Sonata.

With special thanks to Kay and Ursula …




alan's magendovid


The second family album was created at about the same time, in early 2008, to celebrate the 80th birthday of Rachel Levi, in Haifa.  Here too, I rove around in time :  the old are looking back, while the young become older.  What prevails, unchanging?   It is like fishing by a river, keeping still.

The human landscape far transcends the individual.  The genetic tapestry across a family,  springs to life. Catching life to draw, they are for that time my flesh and blood and hinterland:  their features emerge and converse:  a passion to keep the record.  I give them a dash of poetic license:  family life is a mixed blessing.

As a portraitist, I see the parental essences develop in their children and childrens’ children, subtly suggested.  I reflect on their history back through the Book.  This family has roots in Iraq, Israel and Kurdistan;   a surviving sacrament to keep the peace.





akasha tejas




My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

Aquariel Link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

4 thoughts on “Human Landscape – Two Family Albums

  1. Pingback: Human Landscape – Two Family Albums | Kids Belief

  2. Thanks for such a beautiful blog. I am researching the life of Jim Ede, and am constantly thinking of Helen’s place in things. The warmth in your photos and sketches have made her more real for me today, and it is very generous of you to allow others to use them too (non-commercially of course…).

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