Two Friends, Karl Hofer
Karl Hofer
Two Friends
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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
Not exhibited

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 Donation

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.

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019, 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(+72) adult man (+ two persons)
  • 31A231(+1) standing figure (+ front view)
  • 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

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Last import

03.09.2019