Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen (1886-1930)

Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen: Zwei Akte mit Mondsichel (1919)

The painting »Zwei Akte mit Mondsichel« (Two Female Nudes with Crescent Moon) not only represents an outstanding work within the oeuvre of Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen (1886-1930), it also blends perfectly into the Hamburger Kunsthalle’s Collection of Modern Art and considerably complements the holdings of works from the Hamburg Secession. The painting may be regarded as one of Maetzel-Johannsen’s singular achievements and impresses with its vivid colouring. There are only few compositions in which the artist arranged her favoured motif, the female nude,as imposingly as here: supporting each other as they walk under a nocturnal-blue sky in luminous moonlight, both women are enveloped by a nature responsive to them. Dorothea Maetzel-Johannsen was a founding member of the Hamburg Secession movement and, inspired by Cubism, African sculpture and the artists’ association Brücke, developed her own expressive pictorial language between 1919 and 1921.