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Bettina Ehrlich
Kurzweil – Bettina Bauer, 1907.jpg
Portrait of Bettina Bauer in 1907, by Max Kurzweil
Bettina Bauer

10 March 1903
Vienna, Austria
Died 10 October 1985
Nationality Austrian
Spouse(s) Georg Ehrlich

Bettina Ehrlich, née Bauer, (10 March 1903 – 10 October 1985) was an Austrian painter and illustrator of children's books, many of which she also wrote. She lived briefly in Berlin and Paris, and from 1938 in England.


Bettina Bauer was born in Vienna on 10 March 1903. She studied for three years at the Kunstgewerbeschule, or school of arts and crafts, of Vienna (now the University of Applied Arts). She lived in Berlin for two years and in Paris for one, and showed work in each city.

On 27 November 1930 she married the sculptor Georg Ehrlich; like her, he was Jewish. After the Nazi Anschluss in March 1938 it was too dangerous for them to be in Austria. Ehrlich was in England at the time, and stayed there; Bettina joined him in July 1938, bringing many of his works.


Bettina Ehrlich worked in many media, including watercolour, oils and various printing techniques (etching, lino-cutting, lithography and woodcut). At the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris in 1937, she won a silver medal for her hand-painted silks.

Ehrlich began illustrating and writing books for children during the Second World War. Show Me Yours: A Little Paintbook and Poo-Tsee, the Water-Tortoise were both published by Chatto & Windus in 1943, under the nom-de-plume "Bettina". In all, she illustrated more than twenty, most of which she wrote herself.

She was an expert in the techniques of bronze casting and patination of bronze. After her husband died, in 1966, she produced casts from his plasticine and plaster models; they were of the same high quality as those he had made himself.

She died of lung cancer in a London hospital on 10 October 1985. She provided in her will for the remaining originals and casts from her husband's workshop to be returned to Vienna.

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