Transylvanian-Saxon Farmer from Urwegen, Hans Retzlaff
Hans Retzlaff
Transylvanian-Saxon Farmer from Urwegen
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Hans Retzlaff

Transylvanian-Saxon Farmer from Urwegen, ca. 1935

24.1 x 18.2 cm
Physical Description
Silver Gelatin Print on baryta paper
Inventory Number
Ancient holdings. Acquired in the 20th century
Not on display


About the Work

“How much fantasy lives on, gay and unrestrained, in these costumes. The sober grey city attire has not yet trampled all”, the art critic Max Osborn wrote in the Vossische Zeitung in 1932. He was referring to the photographs by Hans Retzlaff on display in the Berlin State Art Library. As a reaction to rural exodus and urbanization in the Weimar Republic, “agrarian romanticism” was on the rise. The return to old values went hand in hand with the glorification of the peasant way of life. Following the National Socialist accession to power in 1933, a “blood-and-soil” ideology aiming for a community of common racial descent took hold. The increasingly severe ostracization and persecution of Jews forced more and more people to flee, among them Max Osborn. The photographs by Hans Retzlaff corresponded to the National Socialist ideology of nation and race and served the purposes of “political education”. In ever-similar photo sequences, Retzlaff captured young and old dressed in traditional costumes and performing folk dances or, as here, in emphatically close-up shots. These groups also included persons belonging to German minorities outside what were then Germany’s borders. Transylvanian Saxons, for example, lived and live in a region that belonged and today still belongs to Romania. The National Socialists had set their sights on these areas in their efforts towards territorial expansion. With his photographs, Retzlaff propagated a German national consciousness.

Work Data

Basic Information

Transylvanian-Saxon Farmer from Urwegen
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Silver Gelatin Print on baryta paper
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Bezeichnet verso oben links auf dem Trägerkarton: Hans Retzlaff; Bildberichterstatter R.D.P. 11911; Berlin-Charlottenburg 5; Hebbelstraße 2; Tel. C 0 Fraunhofer 1798, Postscheckkonto: Berlin 159844; Bankkonto: Deutsche Bank und Disconto-Gesellschaft; Dep.-Kasse R2; Berlin-Charlottenburg 4, Bismarckstr. 68
Bezeichnet verso Mitte auf dem Trägerkarton: Stempel: Originalaufnahme; Hans Retzlaff; Berlin-Charlottenburg; Alle Rechte vorbehalten!; Wiedergabe nur mit Namensnen-;nung gestattet. Jede Vervielfäl-; tigung oder unbefugte Nachbildung; ohne Wissen des Urhebers wird; gesetzlich verfolgt.; Kunsturhebergesetzt v. 9. Jan. 1907.); Um Verwechslungenzu vermeiden, bitte den vollen Namen Hans Retzlaff,; Berlin anzugeben.
Bezeichnet verso unten links auf dem Trägerkarton: Schreibmaschinenschrift: Die Siebenbürger Sachsen; Bauer aus Urwegen
Captions Added Later
Bezeichnet verso oben rechts auf dem Trägerkarton: Handschriftlich: V; 5 g; 419
Bezeichnet verso oben links auf dem Trägerkarton: Handschriftlich: 419
Bezeichnet verso unten rechts auf dem Trägerkarton: Handschriftlich: St.F.2318

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
© Hans Retzlaff
Ancient holdings. Acquired in the 20th century

Work Content

Motifs and References

Main Motif


  • 61B11(+521) anonymous historical person portrayed (+ full face portrait)
  • 31D14 adult man
  • 41D3 folk costume, regional costume

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