Can you recognize which painting by Otto Pippel is a fake?


A consolation: You are not alone!

It is an open secret: in the art market, counterfeits of the art by the late German impressionist Otto Eduard Pippel (1878-1960) is the rule rather than an exception.

With the search term Otto Pippel in the category Painting on eBay, the rate of real paintings by the artist is on average only 10%. But even in conventional auctions, the number of real paintings of the artist in relation to the obvious counterfeits  offered reaches on average only 50%. Even in the offer of individual galleries, you will find paintings that are falsely offered as Otto Pippel.

Who is Otto Pippel?

As a brilliant technician of color, the painter, born in Łódź in 1878, painted a variety of landscapes, still lifes and city vedutas. He also mastered figurative painting in a perfectly impressionistic manner. Pippel’s work is characterized by a pasty, flickering application of color that enchants his viewers again and again. When you stand in front of one of his paintings, the thick layers of paint, which were mostly troweled, literally pop out and the painter’s gesture comes to life again in his painting. Sophisticated, he painted reflecting water surfaces that are so life-like that one loses himself in the depths at the sight of his lake landscapes. His Munich motifs such as Hofgarten, English Garten and Deer park made him famous, but also the area around his adopted home Planegg near Munich he loved.

Why are there so many fakes?

This question must be answered with the auction history: In the 1990s, there was a high phase for Otto Pippel and passionate art collectors, who appreciated impasto Impressionist paintings of the artist, paid high sums to own one or more pictures of him. The prices for oil paintings by Otto Pippel established themselves in the upper five-digit range. For some style copycats, a threshold had now been reached at which morality and criminal consequences were outweighed by the expected profit and the result was intentionally at least one wrong attribution. All of a sudden, more and more paintings by Otto Pippel appeared on attics and flea markets, but they did not originate from his hand, although the name was applied to the canvas.

My advice when buying:

1. Only buy from reputable traders with traceable business addresses, never from traders who sell privately. In this case, not even from private collectors who you do not know well for at least five years.

2. Never believe stories of aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandpas, who somehow somewhere someday have bought the precious painting directly from the artist in the fifties.

Back to the original question:

Do you recognize which painting by Otto Pippel is a fake? The paintings shown here are, without exception, originals by the artist as all were sold in the course of the last year after thorough testing for authenticity by e.artis.


Otto Pippel is still interesting for the market today. It only has to be one!

Yours Konstanze Wolter

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