My library research was successful. I can now provide you biographic
information about the painter.
First, a little background information: The mark above the second
letter of the last name in the artist's signature are not the dots of
an umlaut. Actually, it's a certain handwriting peculiarity that used
to be very common in Germany until only some years ago. Germans often
put a little swung dash above the "u", not to make it an umlaut, but
just to distinguish it from the "n", which could appear rather similar
in script. This custom can be very irritating for those who are not
native speakers of German; an "u" could be easily misread for an "ü".
I had to look at signatures of Bernd Funke I found online before I
came to this conclusion I should have thought of earlier, since I'm
The correct name of the artist is Berhard Funke, who signed his
pictures as Bernd Funke.
Bernd Funke was born on 13 July 1902 in Essen, Germany. In 1920, he
attended the newly founded, short-lived pedagogical reform Folkwang
School in Essen, and from 1921 to 1923, he studied at the Essen
College of Art. In 1923, Funke passed the state examination as an
From 1931 to 1936, Funke was an art teacher at Meppen Grammar School
until he had to resign from school-teaching due to pressure by the
National Socialists. From 1937 to 1940, Funke was head of an
advertising studio in Cologne.
During World War II, he served as army painter in France, Russia,
Romania and Hungary. After the war, Funke worked in an art design
studio in Cologne from 1950 to 1959, before he relocated to Meppen,
where he continued to work as a freelance artist till 1973.
On 16 October 1988, Bernd Funke died in Heide in the German state of
Funke mainly painted architectural pictures and landscapes of his home
region, with which he tied in with the naturalistic landscape painters
of the 19th century. In 1935, he had published a collection of 10
etchings titled "Beautiful Emsland". However, Funke was also known for
his portraits and still lifes. His flower paintings are especially
The paintings of Bernd Funke have a certain value. His flower
paintings achieve prices around 300 Euros in Europe, his portraits are
estimated at up to $1000 in the USA.
Hope this answers your question!
Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon, Band 46 (p. 347). Published by K. G.
Saur, Munich and Leipzig, 2005. ISBN 3.598-22786-8
Banghaus Auctioneers, Hamburg
Artnet: Bernd (Bernhard) Funke
Close-ups of some of Bernd Funke's signatures:
Artprice.com, signature on "Pipe Smoker" (portrait, 1940s)
Banghaus Auctioneers, signature on "Flowers in a Vase" (flower painting)
Banghaus Auctioneers, signature on another flower painting