The great portraitist Leo von König (1871-1944) was surrounded by a circle of personalities who were also connected with one another as representatives of their era. A persual of their correspondence, journals, memoirs, and autobiographies thus produces a dense network of information and insights that form a mosaic of those decisive years. The painter always cultivated a close exchange with his social surroundings; in fact, his attentiveness was a driving force for the portrait painting that established his fame. When persecution and war negativley impacted his ability to obtain commissions, he turned in particular to his companions, for instance Ernst Barlach or Reinhld Schneider. The portraits painted at this time go beyond any conventions and communicate a panorama of this harrowing epoch.
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