Max Peiffer Watenphul

Born in Weferlingen in the district of Gardelegen on 1st September. His father is a dispensing chemist, his mother a descendent of a Huguenot family. His father dies while Max is still a child.

His mother marries Dr. Phil. Heinrich Watenphul, who for Max proves to be both a friend and guide during his youth.

Begins his studies in medicine, but then enrolls at the law faculty and studies in Strasbourg, Munich, Bonn, Würzburg and Frankfurt. Obtains his doctorate with a thesis on church law. In Munich he is introduced by Lotte Pritzel to Paul Klee.

Student at the Bauhaus in Weimar. Pottery and weaving.  Makes the acquaintance of Gropius, Itten, Feininger, Kandinsky and Albers. Friendship with Schwittters, Schlemmer, Gerhard Marcks, Max Burchartz and Else Lasker-Schüler.

Signs contract with the art dealer Flechtheim. Friendship with Prof. Gosebruch, the collector Klaus Gebhard and Richard Parrisius.

Becomes a member "Junges Rheinland" in Düsseldorf. Friendship with Mutter Ey, Otto Dix, Pankok, Wollheim, Hundt and Gilles. Travels to Italy, period of stay in Positano.

Works as an enamel painter in Salzburg in the workshop of Maria Cyrenius. From then on he maintains a permanent artistic attachment to his beloved city of Salzburg.  

Travels to Mexico with the writer Willi Pferdekamp.

Friendship with Alexei von Jawlensky.

Travels to Dalmatia.

Teaching post at the Folkwangschule in Essen.

Rome Prize.  A year in Italy at the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo. Friendship with Ludwig Curtius, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Karl and Erika Rössing.

Prize of the Berlin Academy of Arts. Travels to England, France and Tunis. Friendship with Wilhelm Uhde.

Wins the Carnegie Award, Pittsburgh, USA. From now on he lives and works mainly in Italy.

The still-life with poppies that won him the Carnegie Award is shown in the Nazis’ exhibition of  "Degenerate Art", but is removed from the exhibition following the objections of the American Embassy.

Spends much of his time with other German painters on the island of Ischia: Gilles, Bargheer, Levi, Hohmann, Carli Sohn-Rethel, Purrmann, the composer Gottfried von Einem, and many others.

Teaching post at the Textile School in Krefeld. His studio is destroyed in an air raid in 1943.

Teaching post at the Arts and Crafts School in Salzburg. Friendship with Gundel and Bernhard Degenhart.

After the end of the war, Max Peiffer Watenphul is refused permission to reside in Austria and flees on foot across the Brenner Pass to Venice. Friendship with De Pisis, Carena, Music, Cardazzo and Peggy Guggenheim.

Begins to work in the medium of colour lithography, with encouragement from Chichio Haller, Zürich. Friendship with Prof. Eberhard Hanfstaengl, Munich. First post-war exhibition in Germany. Makes the acquaintance of Jean Cocteau.

Travels to Salzburg for the first time after the war. Studio in the Salzburger Künstlerhaus (until 1971).

Moves to Rome. Friendship with Stefan Andres and the painter Irene Kowaliska-Wegner. The City of Salzburg places a studio at his disposal.

Succeeds Kokoschka at the Salzburg Summer Academy.  Awarded Ring of Honour of the City of Salzburg.  From now on he spends three months every year on the island of Corfu. Collaboration with the Frankfurt publisher G. de Beauclair.

Elected member of the Bavarian Academy of the Sciences and the Arts.

Colour lithographs for Goethe’s "Book of Suleika" (Edition de Beauclair).

Colour lithographs for Venice Portfolio (Edition de Beauclair). Colour lithographs for Greece Portfolio (Edition de Beauclair). Drawings for German edition of Truman Capote’s "A Christmas Memory" (published by Limes Verlag, Wiesbaden).

Decorates the chapel "Il Pero" near Radicofani (Siena).

Dies in Rome on 13th July, buried in the cemetery near the Cestius Pyramid.

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