Conrad Felixmüller

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Felixmüller 1950

Conrad Felixmüller (actually Conrad Felix Müller ; * May 21, 1897 in Dresden , † March 24, 1977 in Berlin-Zehlendorf ) was a painter of Expressionism and New Objectivity .

Live and act

Hubert Rüther : Conrad Felixmüller
Conrad Felixmüller (right) and Max Schwimmer (1950)
Memorial plaque on the house at Kösterstrasse 3, in Berlin-Zehlendorf
Memorial plaque on the house, Rönnestrasse 18, in Berlin-Charlottenburg
Blackboard at the house of Conrad Felixmüller in Tautenhain

Conrad Felixmüller was the son of the Dresden factory blacksmith Ernst Emil Müller and his wife Maria Carolina. He grew up as Conrad Felix Müller. In 1924, on the advice of an art dealer, he adopted the stage name "Felixmüller".

Expressionist beginnings

After giving up music studies in 1911, he began studying at the Dresden Art Academy in autumn 1912 . In the following year an intense friendship developed with Peter August Böckstiegel , who married Conrad's sister Hanna Müller in 1919. In 1914 he became a master student of Carl Bantzer . Felixmüller acquired his graphic techniques of woodcut, copper and steel engraving and etching on an autodidactic basis.

As early as 1915 he became self-employed as a freelance artist and exhibited in 1916 in the Galerie Sturm (Berlin) and in 1917 in the Galerie Hans Goltz (Munich). In 1917 he refused military service and was conscripted as a nurse. From 1918 he was financially supported by the Wiesbaden art collector Heinrich Kirchhoff for two years . During this time he kept in close contact with Wiesbaden, where he stayed several times and where he created his family portrait Kirchhoff (1920; today Museum Wiesbaden ). In 1919 he became a founding member and president of the Dresden Secession Group. 1919 with Lasar Segall , Otto Dix and Otto Griebel and a member of the November Group . From 1919 to 1924 he was a member of the KPD .

Objective-realistic phase

He wrote picture contributions for the left-wing magazines Die Aktion und Menschen , represented the life of the people in the Ruhr area in pictures. In 1928 he won the Grand Prize of the Saxon Art Association (Dresden) and exhibited in 1929 in the Gurlitt gallery in Berlin .


To the conveyor in the era of National Socialism was Hanns-Conon from the Gabelentz . In 1933 his works were outlawed in the exhibition "Degenerate Art" in Dresden. In 1934 he moved to Berlin-Charlottenburg . In 1936 around 40 of his works were part of the National Socialist exhibition "Degenerate Art" ; Felixmüller was excluded from the Berlin Artists ' Association. In 1937 his paintings were removed from all public collections. The National Socialists destroyed a total of 151 of his works between 1938 and 1939. In 2012 a watercolor “Couple in Landscape” (1924) appeared at the Schwabing art find . In 1941 he relocated to Darmsdorf because of the threat of bombing . His Berlin domicile was destroyed in a bombing raid in 1944 and he moved to Tautenhain near Leipzig in 1944 . After a short military service (1944/45) he was taken prisoner by the Soviets in 1945 .


In 1949 Felixmüller was appointed professor at the pedagogical faculty of the University of Halle . Here he taught until 1961 and after his retirement he went back to Berlin-Köpenick . In 1967 he moved from the GDR to Berlin-Zehlendorf ( West Berlin ), where he died on March 24, 1977, just a few weeks before his 80th birthday.

He was buried in the Zehlendorf cemetery . There is a relief plaque on the tombstone showing the artist at the easel. It was created by the sculptor Heinz Spilker . By resolution of the Berlin Senate , the last resting place of Conrad Felixmüller (field 019 / 293-4) has been dedicated as an honorary grave of the State of Berlin since 2001 . The dedication is temporarily limited to the usual period of twenty years.

Conrad Felixmüller was a member of the German Association of Artists .


Conrad Felixmüller's grave of honor in the Zehlendorf cemetery

Felixmüller married Londa Freiin von Berg (1896–1979) in 1918. The marriage resulted in two sons ( Lukas Felix Müller , Titus).

Works (selection)

Felixmüller's oeuvre includes around 2,500 paintings, drawings and graphics. In his works, the human being is the main motif. Felixmüller saw himself as a socially critical expressionist, his pictures powerfully reflect scenes from everyday life. Characteristic features of his representations were the prominent forehead and the large-format eyes. Felixmüller's works reflect an extremely individual character of expressive realism . In the course of the 1920s he increasingly turned to motifs from the family environment. Felixmüller's also artistically significant written estate has been in the German Art Archive in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum , Nuremberg, since 1980 .

  • 1920: Raoul Hausmann , Lindenau Museum Altenburg
  • 1924: Titus in the autumn forest , private property
  • 1926: Luca in a paper hat , private property
  • 1927: Self-portrait with a woman , Museum Kunstpalast Foundation , Düsseldorf
  • 1927: Blast furnace worker , German Historical Museum , Berlin
  • 1928: Newsboy , Lindenau Museum Altenburg
  • 1951/52: Gallery pictures in the Jacobus Church in Tautenhain


  • 1920: Saxon State Prize (Rome Prize) for the image of pregnant women in the autumn forest
  • 1928: Grand Prize for Painting from the Saxon Art Association for the painting Lovers of Dresden
  • 1931: Saxon State Prize for Painting


His works were shown in numerous exhibitions in both parts of Germany and abroad during his lifetime.


  • Emilio Bertonati: New Objectivity in Germany. Herrsching 1988, ISBN 3-88199-447-5 .
  • Jutta Hülsewig-Johnen: Conrad Felixmüller - Peter August Böckstiegel: Working worlds. Dresden / Bielefeld 2006/07, ISBN 3-87909-900-6 .
  • Ulrich Krempel (Ed.): Conrad Felixmüller: The Dresden Years, 1910–1934. Exhibition in the Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister Dresden and in the Sprengel-Museum Hannover, Cologne 1997.
  • Ingrid Mössinger and Thomas Bauer-Friedrich (eds.): Conrad Felixmüler. Between art and politics. Text contributions by Thomas Bauer-Friedrich, Katharina Heider, Jutta Penndorf and Barbara Wiegand-Stempel. Chemnitz Art Collections, Chemnitz 2013.


  • Hellmuth Heinz : Conrad Felixmüller and Dresden. For the 75th birthday . In: Sächsische Heimatblätter , issue 4/1972, pp. 156–159
  • Wolfgang Maier-Preusker : Book and portfolio works with graphics of German Expressionism. Exhibition catalog for the Hanseatic City of Wismar 2006.
  • Claus Pese: More than just art. The archive for fine arts in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Ostfildern-Ruit 1998 ( cultural-historical walks in the Germanisches Nationalmuseum , vol. 2), pp. 99-104.
  • Gabriele Werner : Conrad Felixmüller: lovers in front of Dresden ; on the occasion of the exhibition “Conrad Felixmüller. The Dresden Years ”from July 13th to September 7th 1997 in the Albertinum, In: Dresdner Kunstblätter, 41.1997, pp. 130-134
  • Heinz Spielmann (Hrsg.): Conrad Felixmüller: Monograph and catalog raisonné of the paintings . Cologne 1996
  • Gerhart Söhn (Ed.): Conrad Felixmüller. The graphic work 1912 - 1977 . Düsseldorf, 1987
  • Dieter Gleisberg:  Felixmüller, Conrad . In: Who was who in the GDR? 5th edition. Volume 1. Ch. Links, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-86153-561-4 .
  • Conrad Felixmüller . In: Birgit Dalbajewa (ed.): New Objectivity in Dresden . Sandstein Verlag, Dresden 2011, ISBN 978-3-942422-57-4 , p. 204-207 .

Web links

Commons : Conrad Felixmüller  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Ernst Barlach House (ed.): Conrad Felixmüller "Bliss and courage to fight". October 13, 2013 - February 2, 2014. (Brief description of the exhibition) pp. 5, 6-7.
  2. ^ Lost Art Public Prosecutor Augsburg
  3. Ernst Barlach House (ed.): Conrad Felixmüller "Bliss and courage to fight". October 13, 2013 - February 2, 2014. (Brief description of the exhibition) pp. 4–5, 6–7.
  4. ^ Hans-Jürgen Mende : Lexicon of Berlin burial places . Pharus-Plan, Berlin 2018, ISBN 978-3-86514-206-1 , p. 673.
  5. Honorary graves of the State of Berlin (as of November 2018) . (PDF, 413 kB) Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection, p. 20; accessed on March 17, 2019. Submission - for information - about the recognition and further preservation of graves of well-known and deserving personalities as honorary graves of Berlin . (PDF) Berlin House of Representatives, printed matter 14/1607 of November 1, 2001, p. 1; accessed on March 17, 2019.
  6. ^ Full members of the German Association of Artists since it was founded in 1903 / Felixmüller, Conrad .; accessed on April 6, 2018
  7. ^ Rainer Zimmermann: Expressive Realism. Painting of the Lost Generation . Hirmer, Munich 1994, p. 368.
  8. ^ Jacobus Church in Tautenhain