Conrad Hommel

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Conrad Hommel (16 February 1883, in Mainz – 11 November 1971, in Sielbeck) was a German painter. He was best known for his portraits of leading German entrepreneurs such as Max Grundig, Herbert Quandt, and politicians such as Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring and Paul von Hindenburg.


Hommel's father was a counselor in Mainz, his sister married Albert Friedrich Speer and would be the mother of architect Albert Speer. Hommel married Carolina Schultheiss (1869-1938), divorced of the painter Georg Schuster Woldan, in 1908, he became stepfather to her daughter, Eva van Hoboken (1905-1987), who took the name Eva Hommel.[1]

He studied at French academic painter Jean-Paul Laurens studio in Paris, in 1908, he returned to Germany the following year, joining the Munich Academy at 19 October 1909, where he studied painting with Hugo von Habermann, a leading name of the Munich Secession. He would be a member of the Munich Secession afterwards and their president, he became a teacher in 1928. He became famous during the Weimar Republic as a portrait painter, doing the portraits of Friedrich Ebert and Albert Einstein.

After the Nazis took power in 1933, modern art was banned as Degenerate art, while Hommel's naturalist and realist style brought him the favour of the new regimen, which made him one of the official painters of Nazi Germany, his style, compared with other Nazi painters, such as Werner Peiner, seems more free from modern influences.[citation needed]

Hommel was represented several times at the Great German Art Exhibitions that took place at the House of German Art, in Munich. In the 1937 exhibition, he showed several works, including portraits of Field Marshall August von Mackensen and Reich Minister Hjalmar Schacht, he was given the Lenbach Prize in 1936. In 1939, he became director of a painting class at the Berlin Academy of Art, he married Barbara von Kalckreuth the same year. He continued to be in favour of the leading names of the Nazi Germany, being commissioned two portraits of Adolf Hitler, in 1939 and 1940, including the famous The Führer at the Battlefield, who was massively reproduced, he also portrayed Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Göring in a hunter outfit. He participated at the German Artists and the SS exhibitions that took place in Wroclaw and Salzburg in 1944. In the final stages of World War II, he was added to the Gottbegnadeten list of the most important artists to be kept from the war effort, in August 1944.

After the war, he was accused of being a Nazi activist and beneficiary at a Denazification court, in Munich, on 9 July 1948, but the complaint was withdrawn after a month, he continued his career the following years, and did portraits of several economic leaders of the Federal Republic of Germany.


  1. ^ Ernst Klee: Das Kulturlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2007, S. 265–266.

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