Munich; Pinakothek der Moderne ” Expressive El Greco”, painting by El Greco is first work from the Alte Pinakothek to be shown at the Pinakothek der Moderne

by Venetia Kapernekas

28.11.2014 – 12.04.2015

What most inspiring than on Saturday morning step  at Pinakothek der Moderne to see this  amazing interesting small exhibition, “ Expressive El Greco”.  The work ‘The Disrobing of Christ’  is the first work from the Alte Pinakothek to be shown in the Pinakothek der Moderne.. This quest appearance highlights a noteworthy art historical point: the beginning of the 20th century El Greco became a role model of central importance for many European artists. They enthusiastically examined his work and celebrated him as a prophet of Modernism.

Curators: Dr. Elisabeth Hipp, Dr. Oliver Kase

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Entkleidung Christi (El Espolio)

El Greco (Doménikos Theotokópoulos) (1541-1614) and workshop, The Disrobing of Christ, bet. 1580 and 1595, oil on canvas, 165 x 98,8 cm © Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek, Munich.

‘The Disrobing of Christ’  had already been acquired for the Alte Pinakothek in 1909 by Hugo von Tschudi (1851-1911), one of the pioneering museum directors of this day, and was immediately integrated into the permanent collection. The painting is a smaller replica of the famous altarpiece in the sacristy of Toledo cathedral.

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The exhibition “Expressive El Greco” unites several works by Expressionist and Cubist-Futurist artists who were known to be ardent admirers of El Greco orwho very probably gained important stimuli from his work.

During the partial closure of the Alte Pinakothek due to renovation work, this picture – that is very popular among visitors – has now been placed next to a number of works by Expressionist artists who indentified with El Greco’s painting in particular. These include Heinrich Maria Davringhausen, Robert Delaunay, Wilhelm Lehmbruck and Franz Marc, among others.

Heinrich Maria Davringhausen‘ s (grew up in Aachen, son of a factory owner is one of the founders and protagonists of New Objectivity),


Self Portrtait with Flower” of 1916 is a direct reference to El Greco’s  ‘St. John the Baptist’ and ‘Female Nude in Architectural Setting’.   These are narrow, large format figurative pictures that Davringhausen created in 1916. Both of these works were only rediscovered in the mid 1990s. Later defamed by the Nazis as ‘degenerate’, Davringhausen hid them at a friend’ s in  Aachen before emigrating to Spain in 1933 and never showed them at exhibitions even after the war.  “Female Nude in Architectural Setting” was acquired by the Pinakothek der Moderne in 2014.


Robert Delaunay’s ‘Saint Severin’ of 1909, Max Oppenheimer’ s ‘Portrait of Thannhauser’ 1911/12, Wilhelm Lehmruck’s ‘Bust of Youth Ascending, 1913/14 and Franz Marc’ s ‘Tyrol’,1914 are in the exhibition.


Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Bust of the Ascending youth, 1913-14. Terracotta, 50.5 x 47 x 32 cm © Bavarian State Collection of Paintings, Modern Art Collection in the Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich