Painted in March 1931.
Frau Maria von Haugk-Cruius, Leipzig (acquired in 1932 and sold: Christie's, London, October 13, 1994, lot 142)
Acquired at the above sale
Dresden, Dresdener Künstlervereinigung, Dresdener Kunstausstellung, 1931, no. 78
Jena und Gera, Malerei aus Freude-Malerei als Anklage, 1948, no. 93
Halle, Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg, Der realistische Maler Conrad Felixmüller, 1949, no. 11
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister Albertinum; Rostock, Kunsthalle; Berlin, Altes Museum, Conrad Felixmüller, 1975-76, no. 38
Schleswig-Holstein, Landesmuseum; Düsseldorf, Kunstmuseum; Braunschweig, Kunstverein; Halle, Staatliche Galerie Moritzburg, Conrad Felixmüller, 1990, no. 38
Staatliches Lindenau-Museum, Altenburg (on loan)
The Artist's Handlist, no. 494
G. H. Herzog, Conrad Felixmüller - Legenden 1912-1976, Tübingen, 1977, no. 39, illustrated p. 94
H. Heintz, Maler and Werk, Conrad Felixmüller, Dresden, 1978, illustrated p. 9
Dieter Gleisberg. Conrad Felixmüller, Leben und Werk, Dresden, illustrated p.130
The present work is a portrait of Felixmüller's friend, Clemens Braun. Braun was a musician and composer whom the artist knew from Dresden. This portrait was one of Felixmüller's favorite compositions, and the artist himself selected it for publication G.H. Herzog's 1977 monograph on the artist's best works.
Conrad Felixmüller attended the Dresden School of Applied Arts and the Dresden Art Academy from 1911 to 1915. Between 1915 and 1926, he worked as a freelance artist, his drawings and prints appearing in avant-garde magazines such as Der Sturm and Die Aktion. In 1919, he founded the Dresden Secession Group along with Otto Dix and others, and he was briefly a member of the November Group. As an avant-garde, Expressionist artist, he was reviled by the Nazis who included his works in the 1933 and 1937 German exhibits of "degenerate" art.
While the sympathetic and un-idealized portrayal of this intellectual figure was antithetical to the fascist taste in art during the 1930s, it is precisely because of the touching humanism with which the artist endowed this portrait that this painting survives and is as effecting today as it was 75 years ago.
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