Brilliant Oil On canvas Self portrait of Leo Primavesi. Cologne 1871-1906


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Self-portrait of the famous Cologne painter /graphic artist and illustrator Leo Primavesi. In the style of the Hague School.

Absolutely brilliant atmospheric art work with a menacing appeal.


 Oil on canvas. Signed and dated 1906.

33cm x 25cm

Liberated soul

Although Leo Primavasi's biography can only be accessed through a few written sources, the traces of his works can be clearly traced and formed into a character image of this talented draughtsman and graphic artist. Born in Cologne in 1871, the sketches from a trip to Italy lasting several years tell of a long stay in the Gulf of Naples and on the island of Capri. Landscape, architecture and above all the women in traditional costume in Italy inspired him to make drawings and watercolour sketches whose beauty lies in the intimate and momentary moment in which they were created.

The internment on the Breton Île Longue from 1914 to 1919 had an ambivalent meaning for Primavesi. Having been imprisoned together with numerous intellectuals and artists, with whom he was able to work on the publication of the camp newspaper and be culturally and artistically active, his turn to symbolism speaks the language of a trapped soul lusting after the outbreak. The works of Leo Primavesi tell of an artist whose talent lay above all in capturing moments and their emotional perception. In this first presentation of the artist's work, the comprehensive talent of this traveller and prisoner is revealed and forms the image of a poetic draftsman.