Hermann Max Pechstein

1881-1955

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Status, price and estimate by the artist Hermann Max Pechstein

Price of a painting: 3,500 – 2,200,000 €.

Estimate of a drawing: 1,200 – 140,000 €.

Estimation of a lithograph: 40 – 10,000 €.

If you would like to have a work by Hermann Max Pechstein appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

Die Brücke and the Neue Secession

Pechstein Max, a painter and graphic artist, was born in 1881 in Zwickau. He trained as a decorator for four years from 1896 to 1900 and studied from 1903 to 1906 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden. He met the artists Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Erich Heckel of the “Die Brücke” group and was the only member to have completed an academic training. In 1907, he was awarded the Saxon State Prize, which enabled him to travel to Paris and Italy.

In 1908 he joined the Berlin Secession group and two years later founded the Neue Secession. The connections he made with this group led him to break his connection with Die Brücke two years later, in 1912.

Meeting with his muse

Pechstein met his muse, Lotte Kaprolat, when he moved to Berlin in 1908 and stayed with her for almost ten years. Kaprolat is recognisable in the artist’s paintings, which he depicts voluptuous, heavy eyelids and full lips. It can also be seen in many of the drawings he made between 1909 and 1910, including the double portrait he made of them as a bourgeois couple wearing the same headgear. This painting clearly represents the strength of the ties that united the couple. The breadth of Pechstein’s gaze as well as the clarity of the colours he applies to the canvas accentuate the effect of harmony and spiritual equilibrium uniting them. They were married in 1911, and their son Frank was born in 1913.

The artist takes part in the Battle of the Somme. This can be seen in the lithographs and drawings he makes during his travels. At the same time, he founded the “Groupe de Novembre” and the Conseil de l’Ordre des artistes.

He separated from Lotte in 1923 (to marry Marta Moller) and joined the Academy of Fine Arts, where he became a professor the same year. In 1921 he discovered Lake Léba in Pomerania, which marked his artistic production.

The Influence of the Second World War on the Career of Hermann Max Pechstein

A victim of the Third Reich, Pechstein had his professorship withdrawn in 1933, being one of the many artists whose work was described as “Degenerate Art” by Hitler’s government. He was excluded from the Prussian Academy of Fine Arts and a large part of his work was destroyed in 1944. After the war, he taught at the Berlin School of Fine Arts from 1945 onwards. In 1952, he was awarded the German Legion of Honour and was also made an honorary citizen of his home town of Zwickau.

Appraise and sell a painting by Max Pechstein

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