Media & Press Releases

Jochen Zeitz Shares Important Wildlife Art Collection at Segera Retreat

Aug 18, 2015 | Wilderness Safaris

August 2015 – Segera Retreat is pleased to share important historical wildlife paintings from the owner, Jochen Zeitz’s private collection with guests visiting the Retreat. The pictures, done by internationally-renowned German artists Kuhnert, Friese and Lorenz, add to the already-impressive offering of contemporary African artwork on display at the Retreat.  

“We are delighted to be able to share these important early wildlife paintings with our guests”, commented Segera General Manager Jens Kozany, “especially as they were painted at a time when most European artists only studied animals in zoos, whilst these painters actually travelled to Africa to view wild animals in their natural habitat. In this way, they were able to observe their behaviour at close quarters, resulting in wildlife art of the utmost realism. As they were able to appreciate the living beauty of Africa’s wildlife, and felt compelled to share it with others through their art, they helped pave the way for today’s wildlife artists.”

Left to right: Buffalo (Friese); Lions (Kuhnert); Elephants (Lorenz)

The three artists represented in this collection, Richard Friese (1854 – 1918), Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert (1865 – 1926) and Willi Lorenz (1901 – 1981), are renowned as some of the most important wildlife artists of their time. These paintings now take their rightful place at Segera Retreat, among the wildlife and landscapes that inspired their creation.

Richard Friese was a German animal and landscape painter. His studies and travels took him as far afield as Norway and the Polar Regions, and the Orient. He rapidly acquired a reputation as one of the best animal painters in Germany, especially noted for his vivid depictions of desert lions and also of the native deer in German forests. He was elected a member of the Berlin Academy in 1892.

Friedrich Wilhelm Kuhnert chose to follow Friese’s example and travelled to East Africa in 1891-2 to study wild animals in their natural habitat, and then again to East and South Africa in 1905 and 1911-12. Captivated by the beauty and excitement of the wild, Kuhnert spent much time in the field, returning only intermittently to Berlin to work up his sketches into finished paintings. Lions were a particular favourite subject of Kuhnert’s and his deep connection with this big cat earned him the nickname “Lion-Kuhnert.” Kuhnert is today recognised as one of the greatest wildlife painters and his work has provided inspiration for many artists, including David Shepherd.

The third artist represented in this collection, Willi Lorenz, was also a celebrated German animal painter who lived and worked in Cologne. He studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and specialised in animal paintings, which brought him an international reputation.

Centrally positioned in the heart of the Laikipia Plateau in Kenya, Segera Retreat is the East Africa hub of the Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary African Art). In addition to this private collection, Segera liberally displays striking, relevant and at times culturally and socially challenging artworks throughout the Retreat. It strives to strengthen intercultural relationships and understanding, safeguarding cultural heritage while raising awareness of cultural diversity.

Segera is committed to the holistic 4Cs approach to sustainability (a balance of Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce). It is also one of Africa’s most exciting safari destinations, boasting the second-highest density of wildlife in Kenya including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, reticulated giraffe, Lelwel’s hartebeest and providing a refuge for endangered species such as Grevy’s zebra, patas monkey and African wild dog.

For more information, please contact Segera GM Jens Kozany: jens@segera.com.