Collection: Franz Radziwill

Franz Radziwill was born in 1895 in Cologne. In 1909 he worked as a bricklayer’s apprentice, which eventually led to him being admitted to the University of Bremen to study architecture in 1913. It was here, during evening classes, that he devoted himself to figurative drawing.

Radziwill’s relationship to modern German art was complex. After WWI he was especially inspired by Expressionist art, particularly the work of Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. By 1923, however, he began to look back at old German and Dutch masters, taking inspiration from the likes of Hieronymus Bosch.

Initially a supporter of the rise of National Socialism in Germany, he was appointed Professor of Fine Painting at the Düsseldorf Art Academy in 1933. However, in 1934 his early, more Expressionist works were discovered and he was later denounced as a ‘degenerate artist’.