Nude with cows
Oil on canvas. 90.5 x 110.5 cm. Framed under glass. Unsigned. Stamped "NACHLASS HEINRICH CAMPENDONK" verso on canvas and inscribed "Ö Nr.15 Edith Campendonk" in pencil. - With the printed label of the Collectie Gemeente Amsterdam on the reverse of the stretcher, with the artist's name, the title "AKTE" and the owner "e. campendonk-van leckwyck", the format and the inv. no. "B 5384" in typewritten letters. Inscribed "HEINRICH CAMPENDONK 2 NAAKTEN MET KOEIEN (ROOD)" on the upper stretcher. - In immaculate, extremely fresh condition.
Firmenich 1190 Ö
Estate of the artist; still owned by the Campendonk family; deposit Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Bedburg-Hau/Amstelveen 2001/2002 (Stiftung Museum Schloss Moyland/Cobra-Museum voor moderne kunst), Heinrich Campendonk: die zweite Lebenshälfte eines Blauen Reiters, cat. No. 64, color illus. p. 165; Delmenhorst 2002 (Städtische Galerie Haus Coburg), Heinrich Campendonk - Melancholie und Ornament. Das malerische Spätwerk, no p., no illus.; permanent loan Museum Penzberg, Campendonk Collection 2016-2023
From 1926, Heinrich Campendonk held a professorship at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, from which he was dismissed by the National Socialist regime in 1934; his works were ostracized as "degenerate". The artist emigrated to the Netherlands, where he was appointed to the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. As a progressive artist, he was met with rejection from the faculty at this conservative academy, but he was held in high esteem by the students and loved teaching. Although he was briefly arrested after the invasion of the German army in 1940 and later conscripted to guard duty with the German Schutztruppe, he was able to continue teaching until the end of the war. He also designed stained glass windows for public buildings in the Netherlands.
From 1947, the artist devoted himself more intensively to painting again, taking part in exhibitions in Krefeld and Düsseldorf and also receiving a call to the Düsseldorf Academy. Ultimately, however, he decided against returning to Germany, as the experience of ostracism would continue to affect him for the rest of his life.
In his late work, he continued his earlier work in terms of motifs; as before, lyrical depictions of animals and landscape elements from his environment run through his works, sometimes in combination with female nudes. This last creative phase is characterized by a coolness and clarity of color and form. "It is only today that we are opening our eyes to the beauty of these late works, that the depressive torpor is seen as a possible valid expression of the experience of suffering, as an extremely artistic attempt to tame the centrifugal forces of life", writes Gisela Geiger (in: exhib. Cat. Heinrich Campendonk. Rausch und Reduktion, Stadtmuseum Penzberg 2007, p. 99).
Our two magnificent, large-format paintings "AKt mit Kühen" and "Oostende" from around 1949 fascinate with their intense luminosity and clearly outlined forms, which reflect his many years of work as a glass painter. The diverse motif details are cast in crystalline areas of color and intertwine to form dense tapestries. Campendonk's unsurpassed sense of colour, which has characterized his oeuvre from the very beginning, is expressed in a harmonious balance of cool and warm tones.