Von Ripper’s Odyssey
Author Sian Mackay will be hosted by Summerhall and The Demarco European Art Foundation for the UK launch of her latest illustrated biography Von Ripper’s Odyssey.
Intrigue, espionage, torture, love, drugs, a daring escape and a desperate crusade against the Nazis. Baron Rudolph von Ripper was an Austrian aristocrat who turned his back on tradition to become an artist and later a US Army sharpshooter. He fought with the French Foreign Legion, survived torture at the hands of the Gestapo, escaped from the first concentration camp, painted marine life in The Bahamas, worked for the CIA in Vienna, designed jewellery with his friend Salvador Dali and was eventually found dead at his home in Mallorca, in mysterious circumstances, having learned that Hitler’s favourite commando, Otto Skorzeny – a man he’d captured during the war – had been denatzified and had moved into a house just a mile away.
Von Ripper documented the first half of the 20th century with searing eloquence in his now forgotten masterwork, Écraser L’Infame. Sian Mackay hopes her book will help to restore Von Ripper’s art to the 20th century canon where it deserves stand alongside the works of his contemporaries including Grosz, Dix and Kollwitz.