Karl Schmidt-Rottluff



Material / Technique
Bildmaß 87 × 101 cm
Rahmenmaß 100,5 × 114 × 4,5 cm
Related Digital Projects
Related Albums
Acquisition details
Dauerleihgabe der Karl und Emy Schmidt-Rottluff Stiftung, Berlin
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Freundinnen, 1926, Öl auf Leinwand, Brücke-Museum, Karl und Emy Schmidt-Rottluff Stiftung, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019

Exhibitions (selection)

Literature (selection)

  • Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Das nachgelassene Werk seit den zwanziger Jahren. Malerei, Plastik, Kunsthandwerk, Ausst.-Kat. Brücke-Museum Berlin, Berlin 1977.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Brücke-Museum Berlin. Malerei und Plastik. Sammlung der Karl-und-Emy-Schmidt-Rottluff-Stiftung. Kommentiertes Verzeichnis der Bestände, Hirmer Verlag, München 2011.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Landschaft - Figur - Stilleben, Ausst.-Kat. Brücke-Museum, Berlin, Hirmer Verlag, München 2014.


Signiert unten links: S.Rottluff (Signatur)
Rückseitig auf dem Keilrahmen: Schmidt=Rottluff "Freundinnen" ((267)) (Bezeichnung)

Inventory Number
A 1

Catalog Number
Grohmann S. 296

(Christiane Remm, Curator, Karl und Emy Schmidt-Rottluff Stiftung)

About the Work

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Freundinnen (Girlfriends), 1926

In his painting Freundinnen (Girlfriends), Schmidt-Rottluff portrays two women. They are sitting close together, with their concentrate gaze directed towards the distance; their expressions are serious, introverted, tense, even worried.

Both women were close to the artist. Emy Schmidt-Rottluff is depicted on the left. Born Emy Frisch in Chemnitz in 1884, she had been acquainted with the Brücke artists since her youth, and like them lived in Dresden before 1911 and in Berlin from 1911 on. She worked as a photographer in Berlin. In 1912, Schmidt-Rottluff designed a letterhead for her “Fotografische Werkstatt” (Photographic Workshop) and a business card for herself in 1915. Following the end of the First World War, she married the artist in 1919 and continued to be part of his life and work until her death in 1975. She became Schmidt-Rottluff’s most important model. He painted her in numerous female portraits, most of them anonymous. We can clearly recognise Gudrun Peters (1908–1992), the elder daughter of the Leipzig collector couple Hedda and Viktor Peters, in the female figure beside Emy in the painting. Karl and Emy Schmidt-Rottluff were acquainted with them from early on, and had a close connection with their daughters. In the 1920s, Gudrun and her younger sister Roswita were regular summer guests of the artist couple in Jershöft, in the Farther Pomerania region, where they were painted several times – often in everyday family settings.

Interpersonal relationships, the way people relate to themselves, in society and in the community, as well as the tension between proximity and distance experienced when being together with other people are themes that particularly interested Schmidt-Rottluff after his return from the war in the 1920s. In this double portrait, he explores friendship as an anchor of the human condition and an expression of a sense of togetherness that is based on trust. This emotional depth is also reflected in his artistic style: in contrast to the spontaneously exaggerated depictions of Brücke Expressionism—which were condensed into colourful surfaces, forms, and gestures – Schmidt-Rottluff creates here both a physical and psychological presence by means of sequences of bright colours and precise strokes that are guided by the natural form and physiognomy, thus conferring personality and individuality to the women in his painting.

(Lea ) Interview Solidarity
(Lea Susemichel )
Best Friends Forever
(Christiane Remm , Christiane Remm)
About the Work
(Fabio ) Powerlessness
(Miriam ) Gatekeeper
(Wanjiru ) Opposites
(Wanjiru ) Just argued
(Zinaida ) Not mine
(Helga Lüdtke ) Der Bubikopf. Männlicher Blick, weiblicher Eigen-Sinn (SWR)