Max Peiffer Watenphul

1896
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.

1906
His mother marries Dr. Phil. Heinrich Watenphul, who for Max proves to be both a friend and guide during his youth.

1914-1918
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.

1919-1921
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.

1921
Signs contract with the art dealer Flechtheim. Friendship with Prof. Gosebruch, the collector Klaus Gebhard and Richard Parrisius.

1922
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.

1922-24
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.  

1924
Travels to Mexico with the writer Willi Pferdekamp.

1925
Friendship with Alexei von Jawlensky.

1926
Travels to Dalmatia.

1927-1931
Teaching post at the Folkwangschule in Essen.

1931
Rome Prize.  A year in Italy at the German Academy Rome Villa Massimo. Friendship with Ludwig Curtius, Ernst Wilhelm Nay, Karl and Erika Rössing.

1932
Prize of the Berlin Academy of Arts. Travels to England, France and Tunis. Friendship with Wilhelm Uhde.

1933
Wins the Carnegie Award, Pittsburgh, USA. From now on he lives and works mainly in Italy.

1937
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.

1938-1940
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.

1941-1943
Teaching post at the Textile School in Krefeld. His studio is destroyed in an air raid in 1943.

1943-1944
Teaching post at the Arts and Crafts School in Salzburg. Friendship with Gundel and Bernhard Degenhart.

1946-1947
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.

1948
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.

1951
Travels to Salzburg for the first time after the war. Studio in the Salzburger Künstlerhaus (until 1971).

1956
Moves to Rome. Friendship with Stefan Andres and the painter Irene Kowaliska-Wegner. The City of Salzburg places a studio at his disposal.

1964
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.

1965
Elected member of the Bavarian Academy of the Sciences and the Arts.

1965-1966
Colour lithographs for Goethe’s "Book of Suleika" (Edition de Beauclair).

1967
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).

1966-1968
Decorates the chapel "Il Pero" near Radicofani (Siena).

1976
Dies in Rome on 13th July, buried in the cemetery near the Cestius Pyramid.

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