Gerhard Schmidt
1953            Born in Fischbach, West Germany

1981            Move to Japan after 15 years of work and study
                     in ateliers in Germany

1982            First exhibition of my work in Japan at the Yamanashi
                     Prefectural Museum of Art in Kofu in June, followed
                     by exhibitions in almost all big japanesee cities during
                     the following years                    
 1983           Exhibitions in Tucson, U.S.A., and Basle, Switzerland
 1984           Exhibition in Hongkong
 1985           Exhibitions in Dubay, United Arab Emirates
 1990           After nine years of life and work in Kofu, Japan, return
                     to Germany in September
1993            Work as an artist in my atelier in Idar-Oberstein
 2002           Exhibitions in Tokyo, Yokohama and Kyoto

2006            Exhibitions at  Maximilianmuseum in Augsburg and

                     Akademisches Kunstmuseum Bonn
2007            Exhibition at Staatliche Museen Berlin,

                     Altes Museum
2008            Exhibition at Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien

2009            Exhibition at Haltern "2000 Jahre Varusschlacht"

2010            Exhibition at Staatliche Antikensammlung München
                    "Zauber in edlem Stein "

2011            Exhibition at Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum Idar-Oberstein

2012            Exhibition at Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum "Carved Treasures"

2013            Exhibition at Tiroler Landesmuseum in Innsbruck
, Austria

2015            Exhibition at Leipzig "Edle Steine,  lehrreiche Schätze einer  
                     Bürgerstadt". Leipzig

2017            Exhibition at Haltern "Triumph ohne Sieg"

2018            Exhibition  at Deutschen Edelsteinmuseum, Idar-Oberstein
                     "Prunkstücke der römischen Kaiser - Gemmennachschnitte von Gerhard Schmidt" 
2019            Exhibition  at Museum Zitadelle, Jülich. "Politik in Edelstein, Das Geheimnis römischer
                     Prunkkameen-Gemmennachschnitte von Gerhard Schmidt"

2020           Exhibition  at Museum Römerthermen Zülpich
                   „Geheimnisse römischer Schmucksteine – Gemmennachschnitte von Gerhard Schmidt“.

2021          Exhibition  at Römermuseum Haltern
„Aus der Schatzkammer der Caesaren – Gemmennachschnitte von Gerhard Schmidt“. INFO

1996             Publication of the book " Engravings in Stone"
1999             Publication of the book " The Japanese Buddha"
2003             Publication of the book " Pictures of the Bible" 
2008             Co-Autor of the book " Mythos und Macht - Erhabene Bilder in Edelstein"   

2010             Co-Autor of the book " Ein Geschenk für den Kaiser - Das Geheimnis des großen Kameo"      
2010            7000 years Glyptic - the art of stone engraving. From Babylonia to Idar-Oberstein.
In: Johann Veit Döll, medal and gem cutter in Suhl. Commemorative volume: 175th death anniversary.

2012            7000 Jahre Glyptik. Von Babylonien nach Idar-Oberstein.

                      In: Gravierte Kostbarkeiten. Edelsteingravuren aus St.Petersburg und Idar Oberstein, 2012.

                      ISBN 978-3-00-038198-0
2015             Die Technik der Steingravur. In: Edle Steine,  lehrreiche Schätze einer  
                      Bürgerstadt. Leipzig  
                      ISBN 978-3-00-049091-0

2017             Wie Edelsteine zu Kunstwerken werden.
                      In: Antike Welt, Journal of Archeology and Cultural History 5/2017
2018              Nachschnitte zweier Augustus-Kameen. Der Augustus-Kameo am Lotharkreuz in Aachen
                       und der Augustus-Kameo mit Strahlendiadem aus der Sammlung Marlborough in Köln, in:
                       Jülicher Geschichtsblätter Bd. 82/83/84, 2014/15/16 (2017).

                      La tecnica di incisione delle pietre dure
                      In: ERCOLE e il suo mito, 2018, Milano, S.76-81.  ISBN: 978-88-572-3935-4
2019             Die Gemma Claudia – eine Autopsie, in: Jahrbuch des Kunsthistorischen  
                      Museums Wien 19/20, 2019, S. 10–27.
2019            Publication of the book "Politik in Edelstein - Gemmennachschnitte von Gerhard Schmidt" Politik in Edelstein INFO   INFO 2
                     € 25,00, 168 pages, 178 fotos, 20 x 24 cm bound, ISBN: 978-3-96176-096-1





Lectures about Glyptik
2006 ------ Ludwig- Maximilians- Universität München
2007 ------ Pergamon Museum Berlin
2008 ------ Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien



Gerhard Schmidt and his work


Grown up close to the city of Idar-Oberstein in the southwestern part of Germany, which has greatly been attached to gem industry for centuries, Gerhard Schmidt learnt the profession of a gem carver and engraver from 1967 to 1971. To escape the threat of being paralyzed by only applying traditional techniques, he decided to break away from his forefathers' ironbound tradition, to venture a new beginning and to create his own work.


His objets d'art and sculptures made of hard, tough agate are unrivalled. Regardless of their sizes - whether they measure only a few or up to thirty centimeters in diameter - his bas-reliefs, mostly framed by an extremely thin line, cut into only 1-2 millimetres thin layers, which again are up to thirteenfold graded towards the background, mediate delicacy and great intuition. Thus each piece of art is unique in its design and perfection.


Making an object of art always is a creative process for Gerhard Schmidt that has its beginning in a cursory, jotted-down sketch which then gradually develops to an elaborated graphic reproduction. In the course of its translation into the reality of the stone this graphic reproduction is not to be realized by all means but is rather a graphically formulated perception that continually adds new ideas to the creative process going on for weeks or even months.


Each of his works bespeaks great imagination, a sure sense of rhythmic compositions, accentuations and contrasts. Not only his skill but his vigorous creativity, which already commences when sensing the shape in the rough stone, make him create his objects of art.


The carved, predominantly two-layer agates, mostly being objective, figurative, are a new kind of miniatures in the varied interplay of tinges of light and dark, depending on the material, of flat areas and extremely delicate details, they are aesthetical compositions penetrating the agate in steps, they are works of art that come to life in the beholder's hand.


The stone sculptures' motifs range from depictions of flora and fauna to portraits of persons of contemporary history and modern-elegant and romantic-playful female figures  to mythological themes. Starting with his works on Greek mythology the occupation with religious themes and motifs runs like a red thread through Schmidt's whole work. It is not surprising at all that, after his profound studies of the world of forms of Japanese Buddhism during his long-term stay in Japan from 1981-1990, the artist now turns again to the roots of western culture.



Detlef Lax












© Gerhard Schmidt 2008