The son of a Jewish father and a Protestant mother, Hanns Ludwig Katz was born in Karlsruhe, where he also began his art studies. From 1918, he took part in exhibitions, moved to Frankfurt in 1920 and achieved first successes. His career came to an abrupt halt during the Third Reich: Katz was persecuted by the National Socialists as a Jew and Socialist. In 1936, he fled to South Africa, where he died in poor circumstances.
His works, being somewhere between Expressionism and Neue Sachlichkeit, were branded as “degenerate” in Germany and destroyed, as was a portrait acquired by the Städel in 1925. Since the purchase of Junge Frau im Korbstuhl in 2008, the artist is once again part of the museum’s collection.