Everything You Never Knew You Wanted to Know About Berlin


June 24 marks the day when Berlin lost one of its best painters of the pre-WWII era: in 1945 63-year-old Gustav Wunderwald died in the Hedwig-Krankenhaus in Charlottenburg as a result of drinking poisoned water.

Self-portrait, 1914 (painting at the Berlinische Galerie)

Although by that time he effectively stopped painting the city landscapes which brought him fame in the 1920s and 1930s – the Nazis forced Wunderwald to give up his post as the Deutches Opera decorator as well as prevented him from having his paintings shown in any exhibitions (instead, he was forced to take up a job as a colourist for UFA and Mars-Film commercials) – most of his works survive until today and can be admired at several museums and galleries. One of the biggest collections is stored at the Berlinische Galerie in Berlin-Kreuzberg.

His paintings offer a glimpse at some of the most interesting corners of the Weimar Republic Berlin: at the industrial, working-class areas of Wedding, Moabit or Spandau. Some of the scenes he captured can still be recognised today.

“Brücke in Spandau” by Gustav Wunderwald, 1927/28.

Here is a wonderful text about Gustav Wunderwald´s art as well as the role of Berlin as his inspiration written by Mark Hobbs and published  last month by the Public Domain Review. The article contains links to many web pages offering unique peek onto Wunderwald´s works.

Enjoy it!


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