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March-April 2017

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In Memoriam: Eberhard Equit (1939–2016)

Eberhard Equit's exquisite portraits of minerals are a long-lasting memorial to his remarkable talent. Undoubtedly, he was one of the world's best artists in this genre, and his devotion to detail and accuracy in his art was unparalleled. Eberhard's extraordinary work, done at his home, is mainly in watercolor with extra-fine brushes (some with only two hairs in the brush's ferrule) on smooth art board. The minerals were painted on a 1:1 scale, and his accuracy was down to the scale of 0.05 mm, which is remarkable.

Born in 1939 in Thuringia, Germany, his attraction to nature (especially stones) as well as his talent in art were obvious at an early age. He was fortunate to live not far from an academic artist and was instructed by him on weekends. Upon reaching adulthood, Eberhard attended the Hockschule für Bildende Kunstler (Dresden College of Visual Arts), Dresden, Germany, studying graphic design. There, from 1959 to 1965, he was instructed in art by Prof. Hans Theo Richter and learned lithography from R. Erhardt. After graduation, Eberhard apprenticed under the guidance of Prof. Otto Dix, himself a renowned painter and graphic artist. Eberhard then enrolled in more art instruction, and from 1965 to 1971 he learned scientific illustration and anatomy from Prof. Gottfried Bammes, also in Dresden. Anatomical illustration is a demanding profession, requiring the artist to be exact in every detail in his work. At last, after having a strong foundation in art, Eberhard left Dresden for the Berlin University of Fine Arts. There, from 1971 to 1978, he taught art, worked as a graphic designer, and was also employed by the Ministry for Culture of the former German Democratic Republic as an instructor and exhibit designer.

With this strong foundation in art and design, Eberhard spent the rest of his career doing freelance work in the graphic arts and book design and as a lecturer. His art has been exhibited in many places in Europe: at Berlin, Freiberg, Munich, and Paris. He and I had adjoining booths at the 1997 Munich Show, and he revealed his generosity to other artists by promoting one of my paintings on exhibit there. In 1994, Eberhard created his own business, Eberhard Equit & Co., and since then, self-published his mineral art on calendars, whimsical notecards and postcards, and in three oversized books: Meisterwerke Sächsisher Minerale (1994), The World's Mineral Masterpieces (2002), and Drawings of Mineral Masterpieces (2015). He spent many of his later years traveling to mineral collectors' homes, commissioned to do paintings of some of their finest specimens. Mineral show attendees had the fortunate opportunity to view his original art at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, both in 1995 and more recently in 2010, where four mineral artists were selected to display their paintings and give presentations about their art at the Westward Look Fine Mineral Show. I remember that I enjoyed visiting with Eberhard at that time, and sadly, it was the last time I would see him; he passed away 11 November 2016. Our condolences are extended to his wife, Christine, and his family.

I wrote about Eberhard in several articles in Rocks & Minerals: The first, which focused solely on him and showed examples of his artwork, was in the July/August 1995 issue; the next was in the January/February 2013 issue, “Paintings of Fluorite from a Select Group of Artists”; and the last was in the January/February 2015 issue, “German Mineral Artist Eberhard Equit (b. 1939): An Update,” which featured his most recent mineral paintings.

For all of us with a deep appreciation of both art and minerals, this artist will be greatly missed. We should consider ourselves lucky to have known and seen such wonderful art from this talented man.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Some of the biographical information was obtained from http://www.minrec.org/artmuseum.asp; accessed November 2016. Alexander Equit, Eberhard's son, provided the photograph.

REFERENCES

Robinson, S. 1995. German mineral srtist Eberhard Equit (b. 1939). Rocks & Minerals 70 (5): 264–65.

Robinson, S. 2013. Paintings of fluorite from a select group of artists Rocks & Minerals 88 (1): 66–68.

Robinson, S. 2015. German mineral artist Eberhard Equit (b. 1939): An update. Rocks & Minerals 90 (1): 63–66.

Susan Robinson writes the artist series of articles for Rocks & Minerals.

 

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