Two Nudes

Heinrich Campendonk (1889 1957)

Date
1913
Medium
Gouache, watercolor on paper
Dimensions
Height: 54 cm
Width: 44 cm
Inscription
Marked on verso: H. Campendonk 13, two nudes
Inventory Number
1955Ma011
Acquisition
Purchased in 1955

Heinrich Campendonk is one of the central artists in the collection of the Clemens Sels Museum Neuss. Paintings, stained glass windows, drawings and prints mirror the artist’s various styles and creative phases in exemplary fashion. Campendonk was probably the best known student of Johan Thorn Prikker at the progressive School of Applied Arts in Krefeld.
In the summer of 1908 time he painted “Garden in Moerserstrasse”. This early work shows the influence of Thorn Prikker and of the neo-Impressionists and Vincent van Gogh. Urged by Helmuth and August Macke, Campendonk accepted an invitation by Franz Marc to move to Sindelsdorf in Upper Bavaria where he became the youngest member of the circle of artists known as the Blauer Reiter. It was his chance to find the way to his own pictorial language after years of searching. The influence of the avant-garde artists in Bavaria and the French art that was so much discussed at the time led to works like “Two Nudes” from 1913. In particular, the Orphism of Robert Delaunay had a huge influence on Campendonk, Marc and Macke. The depiction of a pair of lovers in a southern landscape is broken down into cubic shapes that make the representational motif secondary to the dynam ic force of the coloration.
The start of the First World War put an abrupt end to the collective work of the Blauer Reiter artists. In 1916 Campendonk moved to Seeshaupt on Lake Starnberg and in devoted himself more intensely to reverse glass painting. In 1917 he paints the "Self-Portrait in Upper Bavaria". Alongside the geometric-cubistic echoes of Campendonk’s pre-war works it is notable for the glowing color and neglect of perspective and proportions that reveals its inspiration in folk art.

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