Two Friends, Karl Hofer
Karl Hofer
Two Friends
DE
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Karl Hofer

Two Friends, 1926


Dimensions
100.0 x 70.0 cm
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Inventory Number
2105
Acquisition
Acquired in 1928. Confiscated in 1937. Reacquired in 1966 as a gift from Ernst A. Teves
Status
On loan

Texts

About the Work

With bare upper bodies, the two men are standing close together, one behind the another. Only the older man is seeking physical contact. The younger of the two is looking into the distance and not responding to the touch. The imbalance of closeness and distance lends the painting a certain uneasiness, which Hofer underscores with severe shapes, a green translucency of the skin and the static frontality of the figures. The initial title of ‘David and Jonathan’, taken from the Old Testament, echoes the notion of a homoerotic male friendship. The painting was defamed in the ‘Degenerate Art’ exhibition of 1937.

About the Acquisition

Thanks to a donation by Frankfurt entrepreneur Ernst August Teves (1919–1986), a painting that had already been acquired for the Städel Museum in 1928 found its way back into the collection. In 1937 it was labelled ‘degenerate’ and confiscated. In the early post-war years, neither public nor foundation funds were available to repurchase it. The painting’s reacquisition was finally made possible in 1966 by a generous private donation from Teves, who was a longstanding member of the Museums-Verein’s managing committee.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Two Friends
Painter
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Oil on canvas
Material
Technique
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Monogrammiert unten links: C H.
Work Catalogues
  • Wohlert/Eisenbeis 703

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022, Foto: U. Edelmann
Acquisition
Acquired in 1928. Confiscated in 1937. Reacquired in 1966 as a gift from Ernst A. Teves

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Associated Persons and Institutions

Iconclass

Primary
  • 33A5 friends
  • 61B112(+53) anonymous historical persons portrayed in a double portrait (+ half-length portrait)
  • 31D14 adult man
  • 31D14(+72) adult man (+ two persons)
  • 31A231 standing figure
  • 33A52 hand on shoulder (friends)
  • 31AA25161 arm or hand held in front of the chest - AA - both arms or hands
  • 31A2523 hands against each other
Secondary

Research and Discussion

Provenance

Object History
Karl Hofer
Verkauf über die Galerie Flechtheim und Kahnweiler an die Stadt Frankfurt am Main, 1928 [Inv. Nr. SG 437]
beschlagnahmt als „entartete Kunst“ durch das Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, Juli 1937
im Tausch an Bernhard Böhmer (1892-1945), Güstrow, 1940
Nachlass Bernhard Böhmer, 1945
an Albert Friedrich Daberkow (1928-1969), Berlin, 1950
...
Schenkung Ernst A. Teves an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 1966.

Information

Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.

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Last update

22.11.2022