Portrait of a Young Man

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Ludwig Meidner (German, 1884–1966)
Portrait of a Young Man, 1912
Oil on canvas
39 × 29 1/2 in. (99.06 × 74.93 cm)
Gift of Friends of Art, and Hope Melamed Winter in memory of Dr. Abraham Melamed M2001.166
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
© Ludwig Meidner - Archiv, Juedisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main
Currently on View

Ludwig Meidner recognized his artistic aspirations as early as 1900 and came into his own stylistically in 1911, when he received much-needed financial support from an anonymous benefactor and joined the German Expressionist avant-garde in Berlin. Influenced by the aggressive modernism of the Italian Futurists and the passionate art and writings of Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, Meidner found primary inspiration in the notion of “pathos” as expressed in the writings of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Striving to represent the human experience, Meidner chose to transform traditional genres of landscape and portraiture through expressive distortion and saturated hues. In this remarkable canvas, vibrant color, slashing brush strokes, and agitated line imbue the unidentified sitter with the fervent intellectual intensity that characterized the artist himself.

Publication History
Andera, Margaret, Nonie Gadsden, Britt Salvesen, and Laurie Winters. Collection Guide: Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2004, p. 24, 69, cat. 33, color illus. p. 24. Milwaukee Art Museum News (May/June 2002): back cover, color illus. Milwaukee Art Museum. Hidden Treasures: Wisconsin Collects Painting and Sculpture. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1987, p. 49, 109, cat. 71, b/w illus. p. 49.
Exhibition History
Hidden Treasures: Wisconsin Collects Painting and Sculpture, Milwaukee Art Museum, September 11–November 1, 1987.


This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.