Born in Gera, Germany and surviving an appalling home life, Karl spent more than 60 years in Britain after WWII and his release from prison-of-war camp in 1948. Though he was largely self-taught as an artist, he did spend one term in 1949 at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London.

'Brought to St Ives by Bryan WYNTER in 1955, Karl was a survivor of Germany's Hitler Youth movement (an enforced servitude from which he suffered all his life in black moods of depression). Having been captured after his first parachute jump and kept in a Scottish prisoner of war camp, he made his way to London on release, and was found by Wynter, working in a Soho stonemason's yard.' (Jeremy LE GRICE)

First he lived in the cottages just below the Poor House at Zennor, previously inhabited by D H Lawrence & Frieda von Richtofen, then later near St Just with his long-term friend and second wife Petronilla Silva.



Painter of themed landscapes, often rooted in personal history

works and access

Works incl: Sudden View (1963) at Cornwall Council

Access: CC; Tate Gallery Collections


1974: Major solo exhibition, NAG

2004: Karl Weschke, Beneath a Black Sky, Paintings and Drawings 1953-2004, at Tate St Ives

2024: Truro School Art Collection, Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro (30 Jan-18 May)


NSA (resigned)

Penwith Society 1957


Bird (2008) St Ives Artists/Place & Time

Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn, Diary of a Gallery (numerous entries)

LeGrice (2008) The First Eleven: St Ives Artists (photo)

Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & IOS, Oil Paintings in Public Ownership;

Tate (1985) St Ives 1939-64: 25 Years of Painting, Sculpture & Pottery, biog notes p146 with photo c1965

Whybrow (2013) St Ives: The Story of Porthmeor Studios;