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Max Pechstein, Portrait of Charlotte Cuhrt

Key facts
Full title Portrait of Charlotte Cuhrt
Artist Max Pechstein
Artist dates 1881 - 1955
Date made 1910
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 175.8 × 85.4 cm
Acquisition credit Bought thanks to a generous legacy from Mrs Martha Doris and Mr Richard Hillman Bailey, 2022
Inventory number NG6697
Location Room 41
Image copyright Pechstein Hamburg/Tökendorf / DACS 2023 / Photo: The National Gallery, London
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of Charlotte Cuhrt
Max Pechstein

Charlotte Cuhrt was 15 years old when Max Pechstein painted this striking full-length portrait. The daughter of Max Cuhrt, a successful solicitor and patron of the avant-garde, she sits confidently in an armchair, her big black eyes looking directly at the viewer. She’s dressed in red, with a large, dark hat on her head and a flamboyant ring on her left hand. Displayed in an altar-like, custom-made wooden frame – an artwork in itself – the picture was part of a wider decorative scheme for the Cuhrts’ lavish apartment in Kurfürstendamm 152, Berlin.

Pechstein was, in 1910, at the peak of his career. After a conventional artistic training at the Royal Academy of Dresden, he took up a dramatic, Expressionist style, profoundly influenced by the art of Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch and the Fauves. In 1906 he joined the artistic group Die Brücke (The Bridge), a key movement in the development of German Expressionism.

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