Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oskar Kokoschka

I used to be too subjective, and I was always tempted to find my inner self in the exterior and dissipate my imagination on other people and on life. (Oskar Kokoschka)

 Oskar Kokoschka, Knight Errant (Self-Portrait), 1915

Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) was born Pöchlarn, Lower Austria. He studied at the "Wiener Kunstgewerbeschule" (Vienna School of Arts and Crafts)  from 1905 to 1908. Kokoschka soon became one of the most important painters of expressionist art. After the "Kunstschau 1908" (Art Show 1908), Adolf Loos became one of his promoters, and Klimt even called Kokoschka the greatest talent of the young generation. Kokoschka's book "Die träumenden Knaben", published in 1908, was dedicated to Gustav Klimt. Originally staged in Vienna in 1909, Kokoschka's Murderer, The Hope of Women is generally regarded as the first Expressionist theatre play. As an early exponent of the avant-garde expressionist movement, he began to paint psychologically penetrating portraits of Viennese physicians, architects and artists, like this one of Adolf Loos:

 Oskar Kokoschka, Portrait of Adolf Loos, 1909

In 1912 Alma Mahler (former wife of composer Gustav Mahler) met the young painter, who was known as the enfant terrible of the Viennese art scene. Kokoschka was violent and unbridled, and the press derided him as "the wildest beast of all". Their liaison led on to an unrestrained amour fou, and Kokoschka´s consuming passion was soon transformed into subjugation, his jealousy into obsession. Kokoschka´s mother rushed to her son´s assistance and wrote to Alma: "If you see Oskar again, I´ll shoot you!" One of Kokoschka´s most famous paintings, "Die Windsbraut", testifies to this anguished time:

Oskar Kokoschka, Die Windsbraut (The Bride of the Wind), 1914. This painting shows Kokoschka and Alma Mahler as a shipwrecked pair in stormy seas. "He satisfied my life and he destroyed it", she said.

After their separation, Kokoschka volunteered for World War I, where he received a serious bayonet injury in Russia and a head shot in Galicia. In 1916, Kokoschka served as a war painter at the Italian Isonzo front, was diagnosed as "mentally unstable", and, in 1917, left Vienna for Dresden where he had received a professorship at the Art Academy until 1924. News of Alma´s marriage to architect Walter Gropius hurt him so much that, in deepest desperation, he ordered a life-size doll from a doll-maker in Munich which should resemble Alma in every detail, because he thought the artefact would console him for the final loss of his lover. Not surprisingly, the result was disappointing: a clumsy construction of fabric and wood-wool, which Kokoschka displayed at a wild party in his atelier in Dresden, in 1919. 

 Oskar Kokoschka, Self-Portrait with Doll, 1922

Kokoschka's professorship in Dresden ended in 1924 and was followd by a seven-year period of travel in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East resulting in a number of robust, brilliantly coloured landscapes and figure pieces, painted with great freedom and exuberance. Many of them are views of harbours, mountains, and cities. Examples from this period include View of Cologne, Tower Bridge and Harbour of Marseilles:

 Oskar Kokoschka, The Harbour of Marseille, 1925

In 1931 Kokosschka returned to Vienna where he was commissioned by the Vienna City Administration to paint a Viennese motive. (He chose the view of Vienna from Wilhelminenberg). In 1934, due to the worsening political situation in Germany and Austria, Kokoschka moved to Prague where he was appointed professor at the Art Academy. His works were exhibited as "degenerate art" in the Third Reich which "motivated" Kokoschka to produce the following self-portrait:

 Oskar Kokoschka, Self-Portrait as a Degenerate Artist, 1937

In 1938, when the Czechs began to mobilize for the expected invasion of the German Wehrmacht, Kokoschka fled to England and remained there during the war. In England, he produced his famous war paintings during World War II. Kokoschka became a British citizen in 1946 and only in 1978 would regain Austrian citizenship. He traveled briefly to the United States in 1947 before settling in Switzerland, where he lived the rest of his life. Oskar Kokoschka died 1980 in Montreux.

 Oskar Kokoschka, The Red Egg, 1940

Kokoschka had much in common with his contemporary Max Beckmann. Both maintained their independence from German Expressionism, yet they are now regarded as its supreme masters, who delved deeply into the art of past masters to develop unique individual styles. Both wrote eloquently of the need to develop the art of "seeing" (Kokoschka emphasized depth perception while Beckmann was concerned with mystical insight into the invisible realm), and both were masters of innovative oil painting techniques anchored in earlier traditions.

Oskar Kokoschka, Prague, Nostalgia, 1938. This was the first painting Kokoschka completed in London, after fleeing Czechoslovakia in 1938. Painted from memory, it features the famous view of Prague with the old Charles Bridge and cathedral in the background.

You can see more works of Oskar Kokoschka here on my Flickr page.

Max Beckmann - A Vision

I am seeking for the bridge which leans from the visible to the invisible through reality. (Max Beckmann)

 Max Beckmann, Galleria Umberto, 1925

We know that Mussolini was killed on April 28, 1945, by Italian partisans, and subsequently hung by his feet in the Piazzale Loreto in Milan. However, this scene was painted by Beckmann twenty years before Mussolini's death! Erhard Göpel, an art critic who often visited Beckmann in his exile in wartime Amsterdam, gives the following account: 

"When, in 1925, he promenaded through the Galleria Umberto in Naples, he saw the flood of fascism rising, he saw carabinieri saving drowning people and a body hung upside down by ropes. He saw this in broad daylight. When Mussolini's fall was reported, he fetched the painting from the closet and showed it in his studio. He considered it a vision even before he knew that he had also foreseen the manner of the dictator's end hanging head down."

Benito Mussolini (2nd from left) and his lover Clara Petacci (3rd from left) exposed in Milan on April 29th, 1945.

Galleria Umberto contains many odd features, the strangest of which is the crystal ball hanging from the glass ceiling. Did Beckmann have clairvoyance in mind when he invented this translucent globe? Consciously, he probably wanted only to satirize the Italy of 1925. The fascists' murder of Giacomo Matteotti was widely interpreted as a storm signal just then, and Beckmann saw that gay vacationland Italy' symbolized by the mandolin, the bather, and the tootling blonde, was swamped by political repression. An Italian flag is drowning in the foreground.

Ludwig Meidner, Apocalyptic Landscape, 1912

Locksley Hall
Alfred Lord Tennyson (1835)

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see,
Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be;

Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails,
Pilots of the purple twilight, dropping down with costly bales;

Heard the heavens fill with shouting, and there rain'd a ghastly dew
From the nations' airy navies grappling in the central blue;

Expressionist art offers several examples of this uncanny "second sight," the most literal being Ludwig Meidner's views of bombed and burning cities painted in 1913 (see above). And Beckmann pictured the Frankfurt synagogue in 1919 with its walls slanting as if they might topple at any moment:

 Max Beckmann, Die Synagoge in Frankfurt am Main, 1919

You can see more of Max Beckmann's works here on my Flickr page.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Alfons Walde

 Alfons Walde, Self-Portrait, 1936

Alfons Walde (1891-1958) grew up in Kitzbühel (a famous Austrian winter sports resort) where his father was a school director. He went to school in Innsbruck and, from 1910 to 1914, he studied architecture at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna and at the same time continued his education as a painter. In Vienna he found an important supporter in the architect Robert Oerley, who made the Vienna art scene accessible for him. 

 Alfons Walde, Tänzerinnen (Dancers), 1920

At that time, Walde moved in artistic circles that included Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, and he was also influenced by Ferdinand Hodler. In 1911 Walde had his first exhibition in Innsbruck, and in 1913 he was already represented with four canvases at an exhibition of the Vienna Secession. From 1914 to 1917 Walde participated as a Tyrolean Kaiserschütze in the high mountains battles of World War I. 

Alfons Walde, Portrait of Peter Scheider, c. 1919. Peter Scheider won his Knight's Cross of the Military Order of Maria Theresia for the storming of the 2432 metre high Monticello Ridge on  13th of June 1918 whilst commanding the Kaiserschützen of High Mountain Company 17.

After the war Walde continued his studies at the Technische Hochschule in Vienna, but soon returned to Kitzbühl. In Kitzbühl he now fully devoted himself to painting and participated again had exhibitions at the Secession and the Wiener Künstlerhaus. In 1924 he received the first and second prize at the competition "Winterbilder" (winter pictures) and took part at the Biennale Romana in Rome in 1925. 

 Alfons Walde, Ski Jumper, c. 1924

Around 1928 Walde finally found his own characteristic style that gave expression to the Tyrolean mountain scenery - particularly the living winter landscapes - and its robust people. Together with Rudolf Stolz from Bozen he received the first prize for the design of the arrangement of the main station's hall in Innsbruck (destroyed in World War II). 

Alfons Walde, Town in Snow, c. 1925

The late 1930s were a difficult time for Walde: In 1938 the Gestapo searched his house several times and he was imprisoned for two months. In 1956 Walde was appointed  professor as a late official recognition of his artistic work. His last years were marked by strokes of fate and illnesses. In his work, he once more turned to painting and flower paintings, nude drawings and small winter and sport motifs in tempera. Alfons Walde died in Kitzbühl in 1958.

 Alfons Walde, Tauernhof, 1933

Today, there is a growing demand for Alfons Walde's paintings: "Tauernhof" (shown above) fetched an astonishing € 330.000 when auctioned 2007 in Vienna. You can see more paintings by Walde (and other Austrian interwar artists) here at Gallerie Hassfurther. Also, Art Inconnu shows an impressive series of his works. Further paintings and sketches you find here on my Flickr page.

Alfons Walde, Ascent of the Skiers, 1931

Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch - Duel

 Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch, Duel, 1932

In the early 1930s Herbert von Reyl-Hanisch intensified his criticism of civilization. He regarded industrialization as the destroyer of humane values and promoter of aggression and aimed to hold up the classical ideal as a contrast to this, as a kind of purification for the soul. The fighter on the left, who steps forward boldly, while his opponent with a knife adopts a defensive pose. The woman, whose presence suggests that she is the reason for the duel, is watching the scene with cool composure. In a preparatory drawing at the Vorarlberger Landesmuseum in Bregenz, the man on the right is shown in bourgeois attire, creating a greater contrast with his opponent who looks more like a worke. In the same year as this picture, Reyl-Hanisch painted Pursuit, a work in a similar style which shows the fighting between Social Democrats and National Socialists in Schwechat on 14 April 1932, after which the latter had to be taken away under police protection.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Marcel Ronay

 Marcel Ronay, Sailor and Girl, 1929
Marcel Ronay was born 1910 in Budapest to a Jewish Romanian father and Catholic mother. His family moved to Berlin and then Vienna. In 1928 Ronay joined the master carver's class under Eugene Steinhof at the Kuntsgewerbeschule in Vienna. In 1931 he was nominated for the  Austrian State Prize for Art but one of his works was judged too erotic and this cost him the award.
Marcel Ronay, Nuns, 1929

After exhibiting and travelling through Italy, Ronay arrived in England in 1936. In addition to his painting, Ronay began designing and making porcelain costume jewellery. He showed at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Oil Painters and, in 1952, at the International Exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture. Ronay moved to Essex but in 1986 had a solo show at Ben Uri Art Gallery, London and another in 1995 at John Denham Gallery, Hampstead. Ronay also featured in a 1995 travelling exhibition of inter-war German painters at Den Haag and Brussells and a 1998 exhibition of the Brabant Collection at Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Gallery at Bodensee. 
 Marcel Ronay, New Ron, c. 1930

Ben Uri Gallery in London holds a number of Ronay paintings in its permanent collection. You can see more of Ronay's works here on his homepage.

Albert Birkle

Albert Birkle, Waiting at the Bridge, 1931

I have previously written about the painter Albert Birkle. You can see more works of him in my new Flickr set. The works above and below were scanned by Vanessa; you shouldn't miss her marvelous Weimar collection.

Albert Birkle, Untitled, 1920s

Jeanne Mammen - Just a Pair of Eyes

"I have always wanted to be just a pair of eyes, walking through the world unseen, only to be able to see others. Unfortunately one was seen." (Jeanne Mammen)

 Jeanne Mammen, Stock Dealer, 1929

Jeanne Mammen (1890-1976) was born in Berlin, but grew up in Paris, where her parents had moved, when she was five years old. French subsequently became her second mother tongue, and it was easy for her to absorb the rich tradition of French literature and the fine arts. Already at the age of thirteen she was an avid reader, devouring contemporary French literature, and she was particularly fascinated by such visionary texts as Flaubert's Tentation de Saint Antoine, which became one of her favourite readings.

Jeanne Mammen, Woman at the Cross, 1908

She began her formal education in the fine arts, together with her older sister Marie Louise, in 1906 at the famous private Académie Julian in Paris. Both sisters continued to study painting and drawing in 1908 at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and in 1911 at the Scuola Libera Academica, Villa Medici, in Rome. Jeanne Mammen's early art work, which was exhibited in the Salons des Indépendents in Paris and Brussels during 1912/1913, already gives evidence her remarkable skill in draftsmanship. She was justified in claiming famous artists like Toulouse-Lautrec, Steinlen and the Franco-Belgian Symbolists as her mentors.

 Jeanne Mammen, She Represents, 1927

In 1914, the outbreak of World War I forced Jeanne Mammen to interrupt her studies. Her family managed to catch the last train from France to Holland, to escape internment. Her father, Gustav Oskar Mammen, who had been a wealthy merchant, all of a sudden had become a foreign enemy, and his property was confiscated by the French government. Consequently the young artist found herself without any financial resources, when the exodus ended in Berlin half a year later. The years during and after the war were marked by deprivation and her struggle to survive.

 Jeanne Mammen, Revuegirls, 1928

In 1919 Jeanne Mammen and her sister Marie Louise moved into a former photographic studio at Kurfürstendamm 29. Jeanne Mammen called this green oasis in the heart of Berlin her garden, and it was to become her residence and studio for 57 years, until her death in 1976. The years from 1924 to 1934 can be dated as her realistic period, and almost all satirical journals and popular periodicals of that time displayed her watercolours and drawings, with scenes portraying the atmosphere typical of life in Berlin, both by day and by night. As of 1927 she had succeeded in supporting herself on the income from her art work.

 Jeanne Mammen, Boring Dolls, 1920s

In 1929, Kurt Tucholsky, co-editor of the famous magazin Die Weltbühne, expressed his admiration for her, and published his tribute: "In the delicatessen shop, which is unlocked to us weekly or monthly by your employers, you are about the only delicacy." A major exhibition arranged for her by Fritz Gurlitt in his art gallery in 1930 was crowned by success. In 1931/1932 Jeanne Mammen followed Fritz Gurlitt's suggestion to illustrate Pierre Louys's Les Chansons de Bilitis, variations on the theme of lesbian love which were banned from publication after the Nazis had seized power in 1933.

Jeanne Mammen, Valeska Gert, c. 1929

Jeanne Mammen rejected the cultural politics of the Third Reich, and during the time from 1933 to 1945, she no longer participated in exhibitions. She preferred to try to earn some money by pulling a hand cart through the streets of her neighbourhood, trying to sell second-hand books, journals and graphic works. She could not, however, have survived very well on this meager source of income without the help of her close friend, Max Delbrück, the biophysicist and Nobel laureate, who continued to buy her paintings after his emigration to California in 1937.

 Jeanne Mammen, Portrait of Max Delbrück, c. 1937

 More works of Jeanne Mammen you find here and here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jankel Adler

 Jankel Adler, Portrait of a Man, 1923

Jankel Adler (1895-1949) was born as the seventh of ten children near Lodz, Poland. He grew up among hassic Jews surrounding the textile city of Lodz, influenced greatly by its Polish, German and Jewish population. Adler started an apprenticeship as an engraver with his uncle in Belgrade in 1912, after which he traveled through the Balkan countries. During World War I, as a "suspicious foreigner" Adler commenced his studies with Professor Gustav Wiethüchter at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Barmen, Germany.

Jankel Adler,  Seated Woman, 1928

After his studies he spent time in Poland, Berlin and Paris. In 1922, Jankel Adler moved to Düsseldorf. There he became a teacher at the Academy of Arts, and became acquainted with Paul Klee, who influenced his work. Both artists belonged to the artists group "Junges Rheinland". He also befriended the painter Anton Räderscheidt, a leading figure of the New Objectivity

 Anom., Jankel Adler (standing) with Anton Räderscheidt, 1920s

A painting by Adler received a gold medal at the exhibition “German Art Düsseldorf” in 1928.  In 1931 Adler moved into a studio at the Düsseldorf academy, which he abandoned in 1933 when leaving Germany upon friends' advice, after he had published together with other left-wing artists and intellectuals an "urgent appeal" against the Nazi policy and for communism during the campaigns for the parliamentary "elections" in February 1933. 

Jankel Adler, The Mutilated, 1942. The Mutilated was painted in London during heavy bombing and reflected, he said, his admiration for "the behaviour of Londoners under great stress and suffering, only then could humanity be seen at its best".

In that year, two of his pictures were displayed by the Nazis at the Mannheimer Arts Center as examples of degenerate art. Paintings of him and Marc Chagall were pulled on a hand-cart through the streets and publicly jeered at (see my article Chagall and Germany). Adler now left Germany, staying in Paris, where he regarded his exile consciously as political resistance against the fascist regime in Germany. In the years that followed, he made numerous journeys to Poland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Romania and the Soviet Union. In 1937, twenty-five of his works were seized from public collections by the Nazis and four were shown in the Entartete Kunst (Degenerate Art) exhibition in Munich.

 Jankel Adler, Two Figures, 1944

When World War II broke out in 1939, Jankel Adler volunteered for the Polish army. Two years later, however, he was dismissed due to his bad health. Jankel Adler moved to Scotland and shortly after to London. During the 1940s a number of respectable exhibitions of Adler's works took place in London, Paris and New York. In 1949 Jankel Adler died in Albourne near London with the bitter knowledge that none of his nine brothers and sisters had survived the Holocaust.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Karl Zerbe

 Karl Zerbe, Self-Portrait, 1949

Karl Zerbe (1903-1972) was born in Berlin, Germany. The family lived in Paris, France from 1904-1914, where his father was an executive in an electrical supply concern. In 1914 they moved to Frankfurt where they lived until 1920. Karl Zerbe studied chemistry in 1920 at the Technische Hochschule, Friedberg. From 1921-1923 he lived in Munich, where he studied painting at the Debschitz School, mainly under Josef Eberz. From 1924-1926 Karl Zerbe worked and traveled in Italy on a fellowship from the City of Munich. 

 Karl Zerbe, Parrot and Decanter, 1934

In 1932 his oil painting titled: ‘"Herbstgarten’" (autumnal garden), of 1929, was acquired by the National-Galerie (the painting was destroyed by the Nazis as "degenerative art" in 1937). Recognized as one of Germany's major new artists, Zerbe's first exhibitions in Munich and Berlin attracted immediate attention and he was represented in some of the finest museums in the country. 

 Karl Zerbe, Armory, 1943

In 1934, at the age of 31, Karl Zerbe came to America fleeing Nazi persecution (he had a jewish background). While Zerbe's paintings were being removed and destroyed as Kulturbolschewismus ("degenerate art") from German museums, the Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard University gave him his first one-man show in America. From 1937- 1955 Karl Zerbe was the head of the Department of Painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 1939 Karl Zerbe became a U.S. citizen. He died 1972 in Tallahassee, Florida. Today, Karl Zerbe's paintings are exhibited in many U.S. museums, but he is almost forgotten in Germany.

Karl Zerbe, Melancholia (triptych), 1946

Max Oppenheimer

 Egon Schiele, Portrait of Max Oppenheimer, 1910

Max Oppenheimer (1885-1954), a native of Vienna, began to study art at the Vienna Art Academy at the age of fifteen, continuing from 1903 at the Prague Art Academy. In 1906 Max Oppenheimer joined the Prague group OSMA (the Eight), one of the first associations of Czech avant-garde artists. 

Max Oppenheimer, Operation, 1912

In 1908 Max Oppenheimer moved back to Vienna, joining the circle of Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele. His encounter with Kokoschka's painting exerted a formative influence on Oppenheimer, especially in the field of the psychological portrait. After participating in several group shows, Oppenheimer had his first one-man show at the Moderne Galerie in Munich in 1911:

Max Oppenheimer, Exhibition Poster, 1911 (showing his canvas Bleeding Man)

That same year Oppenheimer began to work for the left-wing journal Die Aktion founded by Franz Pfemfert in Berlin. In 1915 Oppenheimer moved to Switzerland, where he would remain, with interruptions, until 1924. His style of painting subsequently incorporated Cubist elements that would become characteristic of his work. Introduced to Dada in 1916, Oppenheimer participated in the first Dada exhibition in Zurich that year. 

Max Oppenheimer, Gustav Mahler conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, 1935

Oppenheimer went to Berlin again in 1926 but by 1931 the political situation in Germany was so tense, that he decided to return to Vienna. Two years later his work was confiscated during the widespread wave of persecution of Jews and SA defamation of their work that followed the Reichstag fire. In 1932 Oppenheimer participated a last time in a group show at the Vienna Künstlerhaus before fleeing to Switzerland in 1938. 

Max Oppenheimer, Kolisch-Quartett, 1940

In 1939 Oppenheimer emigrated to the US, where his work revealed a reversion to earlier ideas. Shortly before his death in his New York apartment on 19 May 1954, Max Oppenheimer was experimenting with American Abstract Expressionism.

Felix José Weil

 George Grosz, Portrait of Felix. J. Weil, 1926

Felix José Weil (1898-1975) was the original financial provider for the Institute for Social Research in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The Institut later earned worldwide recognition by the works of, among others,  Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer and Jürgen Habermas. Weil was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was the son of the wealthy German-Jewish merchant Hermann Weil and his wife Rosa Weil. At the age of 9 he was sent to attend school in Frankfurt. He went on to attend the universities in Tübingen and Frankfurt, where he graduated with a doctoral degree in political science. While at these universities he became increasingly interested in Marxism. 

Participants of the 1923 Marxist Work Week: Friedrich Pollock (above, 2. from left), Georg Lukács (above, 4. from left), Felix Weil (above, 2. from right).

In 1923 Felix Weil financed the First Marxist Work Week (Erste Marxistische Arbeitswoche) in the German town of Ilmenau. The event was attended by figures such as Georg Lukács, Karl Korsch and Friedrich Pollock. Based on the success of this event he went on, along with his friend Friedrich Pollock, to found the Institute for Social Research in 1924 which he financed with a large part of his heritage. Describing himself later as a "Salon Bolshevik", Weil also supported left-wing artists like George Grosz whom he financed a trip to Italy. Since 1945 Weil permanently lived in California.  

 You can read more about Felix Weil here (page 11 ff).

Friday, June 25, 2010

Londa Felixmüller

Here is a striking 1933 portrait by Conrad Felixmüller of his wife Londa:

Conrad Felixmüller, Londa vor dem Spiegel, 1933

Chagall and Germany

 Marc Chagall, Exodus, 1952

Chagall left Russia in 1922 and pursued his work in Berlin from May 1922 to October 1923 before he finally settled in Paris permanently at the end of 1923. His temporary stay in Berlin became decisive for his career as an artist because he could learn from Hermann Struck und Joseph Budko the art of woodcut and of etching. In Berlin he created under the patronage of  the art dealer Paul Cassirer his first etching series called “Mein Leben” (My Life). At the time, Berlin was a centre for Jewish artistic endeavours. Notable Jewish artists were pursuing their work there e.g. Jakob Steinhardt, Ludwig Meidner, El Lissitzky, Issachar Beer Ryback, and Jankel Adler, all whom Chagall knew personally. 

 Marc Chagall, The Pinch of Snuff, 1912

Chagall was a renowned painter of modern art, even and especially in Germany where notable museum directors such as Georg Swarzenski and Gustav Friedrich Hartlaub had purchased his pictures. Already in 1933 these purchases came to be the target of Nazi propaganda. In Mannheim at the exhibition “kulturbolschewistische Bilder” Chagall's famous painting “The Pinch of Snuff” (above) was pulled on a hand-cart through the streets and publicly jeered at together with a painting from Jankel Adler:

 Jankel Adler, Cléron, the Cat Creator, 1925

In 1938 all of Chagall's oil paintings and water-colour pictures were confiscated from the public collections. Four of these were on display at the exhibition of “Degenerate Art” (i.e. “Purim” from the Folkwang Museum Essen, “The Pinch of Snuff” from the Kunsthalle Mannheim, “ Winter” and “Men with Cow”, two water-colour paintings from the Städtische Galerie at the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt). The confiscated works were later sold in Switzerland in exchange for foreign currencies. Today they are dispersed at notable museums throughout the world. Paintings that belonged to private collections shared about the same fate. For instance those that belonged to the vast private collection of Herwarth Walden. Today they are located in the U.S. and in Switzerland. 

Marc Chagall, Solitude, 1933

Chagall himself has made the beginning rule of tyranny in Germany an important theme in his paintings like in “Solitude” of 1933 (above) and “The Chute of Angels”, on which he worked from 1923 to 1947:

 Marc Chagall, The Chute of Angels, 1923-1947

Look at the clocks, it's ten past ten on both of them, close to midnight, and time is running out again:

 Marc Chagall, Clock, 1914

After Chagall heard of the pogroms during the Reichskristallnacht in 1938, he created a major work called “The White Crucifixion”, today in the Art Institute of Chicago:

Marc Chagall, White Crucifixion, 1938 

Chagall needs to flee France from the Germans in 1944. After his return from exile in the United States to Paris, as part of a memorial book dedicated to eighty-four Jewish artists who were killed by the Nazis in France, Chagall wrote a poem entitled "For the Slaughtered Artists: 1950":

I see them: trudging alone in rags,
barefoot on mute roads.
The brothers of Israels, Pissaro and
Modigliani, our brothers - pulled with ropes
by the sons of Dürer, Cranach
and Holbein - to death in the crematoria.