Self-portrait, Helmut Kolle
Helmut Kolle
Self-portrait
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Helmut Kolle

Self-portrait, 1930


Dimensions
81.0 x 65.0 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
2023
Acquisition
Acquired in 1950 as a gift from Anne-Marie Uhde
Status
On display, 1st upper level, Modern Art

Texts

About the Work

Kolle’s self-portraits accompany his brief artistic career like a pictorial diary. He usually poses in a suit jacket, sometimes as a boxer or in a hunting costume and only rarely in the role of a painter. In his penultimate self-portrait he depicts himself as a vulnerable and melancholy figure, gaunt and with dark eye sockets. The red of his breast pocket handkerchief – which, like his lips, stands out against the work’s otherwise reductive palette – may be an allusion to his heart disease and thus to the finitude of his creative work.

About the Donation

Like Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, the art critic, dealer and collector Wilhelm Uhde served as an intermediary between Paris and Germany. He championed Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Henri Rousseau. He was in contact with Max Beckmann when the latter lived in Paris, between 1929 and 1932. In 1932 Wilhelm Uhde gave the Städel Museum a painting by Helmut Kolle which was later confiscated by the Nazis. After the Second World War, likewise on Uhde’s initiative, three further paintings by Kolle were added to the Städel collection. Uhde made every effort to position his life partner in the ongoing discourse on art: by organising gallery exhibitions, writing a biography of the artist, and donating works by Kolle to museums.

Audio

  • 01:33
    Basic information
  • 01:06
    Focus on Frankfurt

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Self-portrait
Painter
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert oben rechts: Kolle

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum, Foto: U. Edelmann
Acquisition
Acquired in 1950 as a gift from Anne-Marie Uhde

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions

Iconclass

Primary
  • 48C513(+2) portrait, self-portrait of painter (+ artist in non-work situation)
  • 61B2(KOLLE, Helmut)11(+53) historical person (KOLLE, Helmut) - historical person (KOLLE, Helmut) portrayed alone (+ half-length portrait)
  • 31A231(+4) standing figure (+ three-quarter view)
  • 31A25314 hand(s) behind the head
  • 31A25193 hand on breast (or stomach), slipped into opening of vestment
Secondary

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Last import

05.11.2019