Helene Funke


Portrait of Ninon Dolbin (Ninon Hesse),

pencil on paper, 1920's

Helene Funke (Chemnitz 1869 - 1957 Vienna)

"Portrait of Ninon Dolbin"


pencil on paper

35,2 x 33,5 cm

in pencil signed lower right "H. Funke"

Listed and illustrated in the catalogue raisonne:

Peter Funke, Die Malerin Helene Funke, 1869-1957, Leben und Werk (Wien: Boehlau, 2011), p. 227



Ninon Dolbin (1895-1966), nee Auslaender, was the third wife of Hermann Hesse; they married in 1931, after which she was known as Ninon Hesse.  

Ninon Dolbin was a friend of Helene Funke.  See: Stella Rollig and Sabine Fellner, Stadt der Frauen/City of Women: Künstlerinnen in Wien 1900-1938/Female Artists in Vienna 1900-1938 (Munich, London, New York: Prestel, 2019), p. 132.  Dolbin "wrote to her future husband Hermann Hesse in March 1926: 'Yesterday I was  with Helene Funke, a painter whom I love and respect greatly.  She is a lonely person, getting on in years, impoverished by the inflation in Germany, and paints wonderful pictures.  It makes me so sorry to see how frail she is as a person, when, in fact, she is much  stronger than others, being able to create a world herself.' "  Rollig and Sabine at p. 135.