Fritz Arnold (painter)

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Drawing by Fritz Arnold

Fritz Arnold (* 3. October 1883 in Neunkirchen (Saar) ; † 25. October 1921 ibid) was next to his job as a miner and Machinery Steiger as a self-taught artistic work.

The rediscovery of graphic work

Wolfgang Kermer , art historian and former rector of the Stuttgart Art Academy , acquired Fritz Arnold's long-lost graphic cycles a few years ago and donated them to the Städtische Galerie Neunkirchen in June 2010 . In the exhibition associated with the donation, Arnold’s works were exhibited again for the first time since the 1930s. Four picture cycles with 46 original pen drawings were presented, which were created in the last years of the artist's life and are considered to be his main works: The trilogy "The war as I saw it" (1917/18), "The Beast" (1918/19 ), “Der Erlöser” (1919/20) and illustrations for a series of ballads “Four Centuries ago” (1918) by Heinrich Schulde. In a haunting imagery that Arnold puts in close proximity to the great Expressionists, the sheets of the cycle trilogy thematize the horrors of the First World War and the revolutionary events of 1918/19. Fritz Arnold was one of the first, if not the first, artists to address these issues in such detail. All of the work was done as a "sideline" job, so to speak, because Arnold was a mechanical engineer at the Saarbergwerke in Saarbrücken and, although it had been his strongest wish, had never received an artistic training. Contemporary critics considered him to be the Saar's strongest graphic talent .

Only the series “The War as I saw it” was exhibited during Arnold's lifetime: In 1919 the renowned J. Littauer art salon at Munich's Odeonsplatz showed the entire cycle and suggested the reproduction of several sheets for “ Simplicissimus ”. There was also no exhibition of the other two cycles, although this was intended by Jakob Littauer, due to the illness and the imminent death of Fritz Arnold.

With the Kermer donation, numerous bio / bibliographically relevant documents as well as a portrait of a woman made in pastel chalk from the artist's estate were transferred to the Städtische Galerie Neunkirchen. Several works that were in the possession of Arnold heirs for a long time and of which photographic recordings are available are now considered lost.

"Saar Art 2013" showed a selection of drawings from the graphic cycles that are donated by Wolfgang Kermer to the Städtische Galerie Neunkirchen and are exhibited there in a special cabinet.

The grave of Fritz Arnold and his family is one of the few grave sites preserved in the former Scheib main cemetery in Neunkirchen and has been tended as an honorary grave by the city of Neunkirchen since 2007 on the initiative of Wolfgang Kermer.


  • Wolfgang Kermer: An autodidact from the Saar area: Fritz Arnold from Neunkirchen was a painter and graphic artist - he died in 1921. In: Saarbrücker Zeitung, No. 297, 22./23. December 2007
  • Wolfgang Kermer: Fritz Arnold: The graphic work 1917–1920. With a foreword by Nicole Nix-Hauck and a contribution by Nina Pirro. Published by the Städtische Galerie Neunkirchen on the occasion of the donation and exhibition "Fritz Arnold: The graphic work 1917–1920", June / August 2010. Saarbrücken: M & G · Medienagentur and Verlag, 2010 ISBN 978-3-941715-03-5
  • Gerd Meiser: Neunkirchen artist Fritz Arnold returns with his work: Second gift from Wolfgang Kermer . In: Saarbrücker Zeitung, June 14, 2010
  • Cathrin Elss-Seringhaus: Welcome home: Fritz Arnold exhibition: Neunkirchen shows the graphic work of someone who has been forgotten . In: Saarbrücker Zeitung, June 25, 2010
  • “A stroke of luck for the city!”: Wolfgang Kermer hands over a second gift - for the exhibition “Fritz Arnold: The graphic work 1917–1920” . In: Info-Letter No. 1, June 2010. Ed .: Förderkreis Städtische Galerie / Museum Neunkirchen e. V.
  • Günter Scharwath: The large lexicon of the Saar region: biographical directory of visual artists in the Saar region from all disciplines and periods . Saarbrücken: Geistkirch, 2017 ISBN 978-3-946036-61-6 , pp. 35–36

Web links

Commons : Fritz Arnold  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Andreas Bayer (Ed.): Saar Art 2013. Tenth state art exhibition . Exhibition catalog, Volume 2, Saarbrücken 2013, ISBN 978-3-928529-99-0 , pp. 122–127
  2. ^ Entry in the catalog of the German National Library , accessed on January 27, 2018