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Welcome to Epitaph for D’s Art Takes. Here we present the creative legacies of influential people, who are no longer among us. Today we invite you to take a look at the life of the German artist, Rudolf Schlichter.

Rudolf Schlichter was born in 1890, in Calw, Germany. Interested in painting from a young age, Schlichter studied at the Karlsruhe Academy of Art. Here, he was tutored by Wilhelm Trubner and Hans Thoma.

Schlichter was conscripted to serve the armed force during World War I. But his constant protesting and hunger strikes led to his early release. Despite this, the war had a deep impact on the young artist’s psyche.


In 1919, Schlichter moved to Berlin. Here he was associated with several artistic styles. He was part of the November Group. This was a group of Expressionists led by Max Pechstein and César Klein. His ideologies also aligned with those of the Dadaists. The Dada movement was notorious for rejecting any traditional notion of what art should be.

Politics and society had a great impact on Schlichter’s work. In Berlin, he worked as both artist and writer. His works were considered extremely controversial. He was also a supporter of Communism. Schlichter was also associated with the Futurist and New Objectivity movements. In 1932, he moved from Berlin to Rottenburg. In 1936, he travelled to Stuttgart.

When Hitler rose to power in Germnay, Schlichter’s works were labelled as ‘degenerate art’. Dozens of his paintings were seized by the Nazi’s and showcases throughout Germany to defame him. He was even arrested in 1938 by the Nazis. A year later, Schlichter moved to Munich. After the end of World War II, he channelled all the pain and trauma he had seen and experienced into his art. Ghost-like figures, barren landscapes and a general sense of dread became common themes in his works.

After the end of Nazism, Schlichter’s art became very popular and was exhibited in and around Germany. He died in 1955.

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