Lot 43
  • 43

Conrad Felixmüller

300,000 - 500,000 GBP
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  • Conrad Felixmüller
  • Selbstbildnis mit meiner Frau Londa und meinem Sohn Titus (Self-Portrait with my Wife Londa and my Son Titus)
  • signed Felixmüller and dated 1923 (lower right)
  • gouache, watercolour and pencil on paper
  • 64.4 by 50.2cm.
  • 25 3/8 by 19 3/4 in.


Hermann Kühn, Dresden (acquired from the artist)

Private Collection (acquired from the above. Sold: Christie's, London, 17th October 2000, lot 1)

The Cohen Collection (purchased at the above sale. Sold: Christie's, London, 3rd February 2003, lot 14)

Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Catalogue Note

Like other major artists working in Germany in early twentieth century, such as George Grosz, Otto Dix and Ludwig Meidner, Felixmüller was widely influenced by contemporary artistic developments in the rest of Europe, in particular Italy and France. He shared with his fellow German Expressionists, as well as with artists such as Umberto Boccioni and Robert Delaunay, a fascination with the dynamism of modern urban life, which he sought to represent in his compositions with vibrant, contrasted colours and dynamic forms. Felixmüller belonged to the group of Dresden artists and poets who made their artistic breakthrough with the formation of the ‘Dresdner Sezession Gruppe 1919’, of which he was a founding member as well as its most energetic driving force.


In the early 1920s, however, Felixmüller’s painting moved away from the Expressionist and Cubist-influenced art towards a simpler, more realistic style, and he often turned to his young family for his subject-matter. In the present composition he depicted himself with his wife Londa von Berg, whom he married in 1918, and their youngest son Titus who was born in 1920. In this composition, in juxtaposing a family portrait with a cityscape and its chaotic streets, buildings and night lights, Felixmüller makes the crucial link between the artist’s inner state and the outside world. A peaceful interior, presumably their Dresden apartment, is suggested by the soft rendering of paint, while the windows reveal the backdrop of a dynamic, seemingly oppressive cityscape depicted in sharp, straight lines strongly reminiscent of Futurist painting.


The first owner of this work was Hermann Kühn, a Dresden teacher who was a close friend of Felixmüller and a collector of his art. In the 1920s Felixmüller painted several portraits of Kühn and his family.