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Ernst Neuschul
"Erste Beruhrung" First Stirrings

1963

$6,950

About

Oil on canvas, signed and dated 'EN [19]63' lower right, titled and dated to stretcher, numbered 33 and with paper label 34 to stretcher, From the family of the artist by direct descent Image 24" x 36" Ernest Neuschul was born of Jewish parents in 1895 in Usti nad Labem in the Czech Republic. He studied in Prague and later Vienna, where he was attracted by the paintings of Klimt and Egon Schiele and the expressionistic works of Oskar Kokoschka. After the 1st World War ended he moved to Berlin, joining the Academy of Arts where he won the Rome prize for outstanding achievement. In 1919 Neuschul’s first one-man exhibition opened in Prague. He settled in Berlin, a city he loved, embarking upon an energetically productive period, painting under the post-war influence of the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) movement. In 1926 he joined the Novembergruppe, first founded in 1918 and a vigorous opponent of Fascism. In 1932 Neuschul became Professor of Fine Arts at Berlin’s Academy of Fine Art and was also elected chairman of the Novembergruppe. In 1933 however, an exhibition of his paintings was closed down by the Nazis. Because of his Jewish birth and radical political opinions Neuschul also lost his teaching post and in March 1933 he returned to Usti nad Labem accompanied by his wife Christl. In 1935 Neuschul was invited to exhibit and work in the Soviet Union, painting portraits of steelworkers and revolutionary figures and even gaining a double portrait commission of Stalin and Dimitroff. But he was warned of the machinations of Stalin and returned to Prague. In 1937 however, several of Neuschul’s paintings on exhibition in Usti were disfigured with swastikas, a grim foretaste of what awaited him and his family if they remained. Neuschul, his wife and child eventually escaped the Nazis on the last train out of Czechoslovakia, arriving in London in 1939 and settling in Wales for the duration of the war.

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