Museum Folkwang
Polnische Familie
  • Otto Mueller
  • Polnische Familie, 1919

  • Polish Family
  • Glue-bound distemper on burlap
  • 179,5 x 112 cm
  • Donated in 1952 by Adalbert Colsman
  • Inv. G 231
  • CommentaryOccasionally, Otto Mueller’s pictorial narratives can be brought into direct relation with his biography, as is the case with ›Polnische Familie‹ (Polish Family), which reflects wishful thinking. The artist painted himself as an Orthodox Jew next to his lover Irene Altmann, rendered as Maria with a partial halo. She was of Jewish heritage and also one of his first students at the Breslau Academy in early 1919. Altmann truly impacted on his personal life, for Mueller apparently considered, for the first time, ending his long-standing marriage. The artist thematized the different religious affiliations that could stand in the way of marriage: one of the two would have to convert or so this motif might be interpreted. Also hidden in this representation is the artist’s yearning for familial warmth, conveyed in the depiction of the newborn child. Yet, the birth of a mutual child is unverified here; the dog peeping out from under the bench alludes to Mueller’s poodle called Heiko, who was a loyal companion during the early years in Breslau.
  • Provenance1930, Künstler
    1930, Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Berlin
    Edgar Horstmann, Hamburg
    1952, Galerie Alex Vömel, Düsseldorf
    1952, Kauf bei Vömel, Adalbert Colsman, Langenberg
    1952, Schenkung durch Colsman, Museum Folkwang, Essen
  • Obj_Id: 3,415
  • Obj_Internet_S: ja
  • Obj_Ownership_S (Verantw):Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Obj_SpareNField01_N (Verantw): 187
  • Obj_Creditline_S: Gemäldesammlung
  • Obj_Title1_S: Polnische Familie
  • Obj_Title2_S: Polish Family
  • Obj_PartDescription_S (Titelerg):
  • Obj_SpareMField01_M (Alle Titel): Polnische Familie Polish Family Polnische Familie
  • Obj_Dating_S: 1919
  • Jahr von: 1,919
  • Jahr bis: 1,919
  • Obj_IdentNr_S: G 231
  • Obj_IdentNrSort_S: G 0231
  • Obj_Classification_S (Objtyp): Painting
  • Obj_Crate_S: 179,5 x 112 cm
  • Obj_Material_S: Glue-bound distemper on burlap
  • Obj_Technique_S:
  • Obj_SpareSField01_S (Mat./Tech.): Glue-bound distemper on burlap
  • Obj_AccNote_S (Erwerb): Donated in 1952 by Adalbert Colsman
  • Obj_PermanentLocation_S (Standort):
  • Obj_Condition1_S (Druckerei):
  • Obj_Condition2_S (Auflage):
  • Obj_Subtype_S (Genre):
  • Obj_Rights_S: © Museum Folkwang, Essen
Commentary
Artists
Provenance

Occasionally, Otto Mueller’s pictorial narratives can be brought into direct relation with his biography, as is the case with ›Polnische Familie‹ (Polish Family), which reflects wishful thinking. The artist painted himself as an Orthodox Jew next to his lover Irene Altmann, rendered as Maria with a partial halo. She was of Jewish heritage and also one of his first students at the Breslau Academy in early 1919. Altmann truly impacted on his personal life, for Mueller apparently considered, for the first time, ending his long-standing marriage. The artist thematized the different religious affiliations that could stand in the way of marriage: one of the two would have to convert or so this motif might be interpreted. Also hidden in this representation is the artist’s yearning for familial warmth, conveyed in the depiction of the newborn child. Yet, the birth of a mutual child is unverified here; the dog peeping out from under the bench alludes to Mueller’s poodle called Heiko, who was a loyal companion during the early years in Breslau.