(March 14, 1895 - January 2, 1975)
A German Expressionist painter and print-maker. His work evolved from strongly colored and thickly brushed paintings and sharp and angular black and white prints, to late abstract prints in a variety of colors. Although his style and preferred mediums both changed through a long career, the human figure remained his most enduring and constant subject.
Otto Neumann was born in Heidelberg, the third child of Fritz Neumann, a professor of Romance Philology at the University of Heidelberg. Neumann grew up exposed to his father's circle of intellectual friends. Among them were prominent professors of art, literature, and medicine including Ernst Troeltsch and Max Weber. Books were a major part of his family life, and he was to use mythology, Dante's Inferno, and more modern works as the sources for his art.
After graduating from the local Humanistic Gymnasium, the young man began to study art at the art academy in Karlsruhe. World War I interrupted his training, and he spent six months in the Rastatt Artillery before receiving a medical discharge. He briefly returned to Karlsruhe, then took private lessons from the landscape painter, Wilhelm Oertel in Mannheim before completing his training at the Academie der Bildenden Kunste in Munch in 1919. After returning to Heidelberg, he began to paint oil portraits, primarily of such major university figures as Max Weber and medical faculty members like Hans Prinzhorn.
For more information please visit our extended history page about the amazing life of Otto Neumann.
September 1, 2007 by Dr. David M. Sokol (Author)
One of the most versatile and original artists of the twentieth century, Otto Neumann created works of sumptuous beauty and sleek simplicity in an array of media: oils, watercolors, chalk, graphite, lithographs, woodcuts, and monotypes, among others. He lived through revolutionary changes in the art world of prewar and postwar Germany.