Paul Cassirer

Karl Hofer – german expressionist on the rise

Dear community,

From the german artist Karl Hofer you can read “Karl Christian Ludwig Hofer or Carl Hofer (11 October 1878 in Karlsruhe – 3 April 1955 Berlin) was a German expressionist painter. One of the most prominent painters of expressionism, he never was a member of one of the expressionist painting groups, like “Die Brücke”, who influenced him. His work was considered degenerate art by the Nazis, and only after World War II did he regain recognition as one of the greatest German painters (source Wikipedia).

Only in 2008 the catalogue raisonné was published at VAN HAM Art Publications  – The edition mentions 2.900 paintings and were put together in a 30 year´s work by Karl Bernhard Wohlert. Karl Hofers Œuvre encompasses about  57 years from 1898 to 1955, so a period between ” Jugendstil” to the “Klassischen Moderne”.

The presented letter is a 2p letter written by Hofer to Hermann Schmitt (1874-1932), the former minister of interior of the “Weimarer Republic” in 1923. Schmitt had a photograph of the (today probably lost painting ) of his very first version”Die Kahnfahrt” and wanted to buy this painting. At that time Paul Cassirer, the well known Berlin galerist was already putting the painting to an exhibition in Frankfurt and was almost sold to Hans Posse ((1879-1942) Museum Director of the Dresden Gemälde-Galerie).

But Karl Hofer managed to sell this painting finally to Hermann Schmitt : “I totally forgot to tell you about the result of my meeting with Dr. Wallenstein . The “Kahnfahrt” belongs to you. … Please tell to Dr. Wallenstein in written form, that you buy the painting. So I hope everything is in best order and you won´t be disappointed when you see the original, which is unlikely as the photo does not show a lot. …”

Hofer, Karl, Kahnfahrt_1920