Three Reclining Nudes, Christian Rohlfs
Christian Rohlfs
Three Reclining Nudes
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Christian Rohlfs

Three Reclining Nudes

146 x 155 mm
Physical Description
Pen and black ink over watercolour on laid paper
Inventory Number
Object Number
16178 Z
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

These two small-scale drawings (Städel Museum, Inv. No. 16177, 16178) bear witness to Rohlfs’s artistic encounter with the Brücke artists’ association. That applies both to the motif of the nude moving in nature without constraint and to the mode in which he depicted the figures. He represented their bodies with a reduced palette and no more than a few lines, entirely omitting any perspectival indication of depth. What is more, they fill the pictorial field to such an extent that they almost seem to burst the bounds of the framing lines in pen and black ink.

About the Acquisition

From 1900 onwards, the Frankfurt chemist and industrialist Carl Hagemann (1867‒1940) assembled one of the most important private collections of modern art. It included numerous paintings, drawings, watercolours and prints, especially by members of the artist group “Die Brücke”. After Carl Hagemann died in an accident during the Second World War, the then Städel director Ernst Holzinger arranged for Hagemann’s heirs to evacuate his collection with the museum’s collection. In gratitude, the family donated almost all of the works on paper to the Städel Museum in 1948. Further donations and permanent loans as well as purchases of paintings and watercolours from the Hagemann estate helped to compensate for the losses the museum had suffered in 1937 as part of the Nazi’s “Degenerate Art” campaign. Today, the Hagemann Collection forms the core of the Städel museum’s Expressionist collection.

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