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Sold at Auction: Rudolph Charles von Ripper

(1905-1960)
Alias:Rudolph RipperRudolph Charles "von" RipperRudolph Charles Von Ripper
Painter

Biography

Rudolph Carl von Ripper (January 29, 1905 – July 9, 1960) (sometimes Rudolph Charles von Ripper or Rudolph Ripper), known as 'Rip' or 'Jack the Ripper', was an Austrian-born American surrealist painter and illustrator, soldier and Office of Strategic Services agent.

Rudolph von Ripper was born in 1905 in Cluj, at the time in Austria-Hungary and now in Romania. He was the son of an Austrian baron and general who was the last aide de camp to Charles I of Austria. After his father's death and the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire, he ran away from home and worked in various jobs including as a coal miner and a circus clown, before studying art at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf

Death: On July 9, 1960, while on bail awaiting trial, von Ripper stepped outside the villa. He was found dead the following morning by Evelyn, with his death recorded as being from a heart attack, though some commentators including biographer Sian Mackay have considered the death suspicious.

His obituary in the New York Times was headed, "Rudolf von Ripper, Artist, Dies; War Hero Served With O. S. S.".

In the 1990s, workers clearing out the Ca'n Cueg villa found a large number of papers and sketches belonging to von Ripper, which formed the basis of Sian Mackay's book Von Ripper’s Odyssey: War, Resistance, Art and Love.
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