George Grosz. The Poet Max Herrmann-Neisse. 1927
George Grosz

The Poet Max Herrmann-Neisse

1927
On view
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
23 3/8 x 29 1/8" (59.4 x 74 cm)
Credit
Purchase
Object number
49.1952
Copyright
© 2015 Estate of George Grosz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Department
Painting and Sculpture

This is the second of two portraits George Grosz painted of his friend, writer Max Herrmann-Neisse. After countless hours in Grosz's studio, which yielded more than thirty preparatory drawings for the portraits, Herrmann-Neisse said he felt "completely at home" there. In this portrait, Herrmann-Neisse slumps deeply into a chair, lost in thought. Grosz meticulously yet sympathetically presents Herrmann-Neisse and his distinctive features, such as his hunchback and oversize bald head. The artist details the lines, bumps, veins, gnarls, and ruddiness of his friend's head and hands, placing him almost within arm's reach.

Grosz and Herrmann-Neisse shared the same politics, sense of humor, and cynical outlook. They were, as Herrmann-Neisse later recalled, both "proper and anarchistic." Herrmann-Neisse, Berlin's leading cabaret critic, guided the way in their nocturnal adventures. Together they dove into the seediest nightspots, while also moving in the same intellectual circles and contributing to the same periodicals.

Publication excerpt from Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.

Provenance Research Project
This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Galerie Alfred Flechtheim (d. 1937), Berlin.1928 – [at least 1932]
Charlotte Weidler (b. Berlin 1895- d. New York 1983), Vienna, Berlin, and New York. By 1952
Curt Valentin Gallery, New York. 1952
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchased from Curt Valentin, April 1952

If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please e-mail provenance@moma.org or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
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New York, NY 10019

Pictured above: Vasily Kandinsky. Panel for Edwin R. Campbell No. 2 (detail). 1914. Oil on canvas, 64 1/8 x 48 3/8" (162.6 x 122.7 cm). Nelson A. Rockefeller Fund (by exchange). © 2009 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

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Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053; requests@artres.com; artres.com. Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124; firenze@scalarchives.com; scalarchives.com.

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to text_permissions@moma.org.

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource