Biography of Tótila Albert Schneider (1892-1967)

Chilean sculptor, born in Santiago on November 20, 1892 and died in his hometown on September 27, 1967, considered the renovator of this artistic discipline in Chile.


Son of the scientist Federico Albert Taupp and Teresa Schneider, the German origins of their parents caused small Totila to do high school in this country. On his return he/she entered the school of agricultural engineering of the University of Chile to study this race, but soon his artistic vocation manifested itself in him, so, supported by their parents, in 1915 he/she went again to Europe to begin his preparatory studies in Berlin, under the tutelage of Martín Koerte.

Two years later he/she entered the Academy of fine arts, to the orders of Franz Metzner, one of the most renowned German artists of the time; However, their desire for independence you hiicieron leave the institution and mount its own workshop. In 1919 it exposed for the first time in solitary at the Stuttgart Academy, then participated in several group shows in Paris and Berlin, at the Academy of Prussia and also joined the Group Berliner Secession. Long praised by critics, its success was truncated largely to its repeated negative to nationalize German.

His life changed from 1923, when the Chilean public knew his works by photographs published in El Mercurio, so when Albert returned to their home country at the end of the year, it was already a well known figure. During the four months that there was worked on six busts of important characters who printed his strong, dynamic lines style. These works impressed favorably to other artists, such as Armando Donoso and Joaquín Edwards Bello, who did not hesitate to describe his works of "modern" in various newspapers and magazines, which made the fame of Albert to jump borders, to the extent that the own Gabriela Mistral asked from Mexico by that "artistic routine breaker".

In 1924 he/she returned to Germany, where continued working and exhibiting in group all over Europe, in which it was described by critics as the best representative of expressionism. However, Germany, which stood at doors of the conflict, was not a safe place for a foreigner, so, in 1939, Totila left his works in Berlin - which were destroyed during the bombing that devastated the city--and returned to Chile, followed months later by his German girlfriend, Ruth Ehrmann, with which he/she married in 1940.En his country native spent some time as a professor at the University of Chile, task that overlaps with your creative work. This was a fruitful period, which date back some of his best works, basically portraits, reliefs and, above all, public monuments, like the well-known monument to rolled (1944) and the monument to Lastarria, in addition to others that are admired in the General Cemetery and the library of the University of Chile. Three years later he/she made for the city of Viña del Mar project for a source and the funerary monument to Pedro Aguirre Cerda, works that included an exhibition at the casino de Viña del Mar in 1950.

His prolific career in sculpture did not prevent Totila tipping in other artistic activities; Thus, made forays into painting, in music - was, as his maternal grandfather, an exceptional player of zither - and in the literature. The result of this last activity is the epic, written in German and Spanish, the birth of the self, that saw the light in six volumes.

Tireless creator, his last years of life continued sculpting and forming students in the University and in his private study. He/She died a September 27, 1967 in the same city that had seen him birth.