Gilbert K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man
At the end of the 19th century they must have taken him for an odd fellow in his provincial home town in Germany.
Karl Junker (1850 - 1912) built his stately home on a hill just a little out of town, after he returned from the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and travels to Italy. Over the next decades he decorated this house of solid stone with painted wood carving, from the roof to the cellar, indoors and outdoors. Every single piece of furniture was designed, produced and painted by him. Even the upholstery was made by him from the same canvas he used for his paintings. More than 150 images with motifs of christian and ancient mythology were painted directly at ceilings and walls.
His ancestors were wealthy blacksmiths. After the early death of his parents and his younger brother the orphan was raised by his grandfather. He became a carpenter, a journeyman, later a student of Art and Architecture. After the death of his grandfather he inherited a lot of money and leasehold, so he never had to earn a living.
The house is dark, even on sunny days. It must have been colourful once, each space painted in red, blue, yellow and green, colours which are faded nowadays. The furniture is rough and bulky, overloaded with reticulated slats. Although Junker remained a bachelor without a family there is a parents' bedroom with a huge bed and a cradle and a nursery on the first floor. Karl Junker never lived in these rooms, he used only his studio at the ground floor and some small rooms at the second floor.
His work, his art, his life was this house. An artist's residence some say, the work of a schizophrenic outsider others.
The photographer Andreas Blauth made some marvellous shots of the interior.