Paul Plontke

Selbstbildnis Nr. 1, 1926

Gemälde von Paul Plontke, Öl auf Leinwand, 110 x 80 cm

Paul Plontke (1884–1966), Selbstbildnis Nr. 1, 1926

Genre Painting
Materials Oil on canvas
Size 110 x 80 cm
Signature signed and dated bottom right: P. Plontke 1926

Restored with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung

Research status

Provenance is unclear and research continues.

A highly gifted painter

“His modest reserve, his noble humanity, his amiable manner have won this highly gifted, widely respected painter much affection in broad circles.”


Christian Kazner, in: Invitation to the exhibition by Prof. Paul Plontke, Kunsthandlung H. Sagert & Co., Berlin, 2 May to 18 June 1963

Schwarz-Weiß-Fotografie: Gebäudefassade der Hochschule für Bildende Künste Berlin, davor Straße mit Passant

A home for art: from 1924 to 1939 this building on Hardenbergstrasse in Charlottenburg housed the United State Schools of Free and Applied Art. One of the teachers was Paul Plontke. Today the building is home to the University of the Arts.

United State Schools of Free and Applied Art, c. 1928

© Photo: Gustav Hilbert, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Schwarz-Weiß-Abbildung eines Gemäldes, Druck, Papier

"The Last of the Mohicans" was painted around the same time as the self-portrait. It was shown in 1926 at the public exhibition building near Lehrter Bahnhof.

Paul Plontke, The Last of the Mohicans; in: Catalogue of "Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung", 1926.

© Repro: Anja Elisabeth Witte

In 1926, when he painted “Self-Portrait No. 1”, Paul Plontke was teaching at the art college on Hardenbergstrasse. One of his pupils was Felix Nussbaum (1904–44). Around this time Plontke took part regularly in exhibitions by the Association of Berlin Artists and the Academy of Arts.

In May 1929 he exhibited a self-portrait at the Academy’s spring show. The painting is marked for sale in the catalogue. This could be our work. 

At the end of the Second World War, Plontke’s œuvre seems to have been destroyed by fire. His “Self-Portrait” was presumably somewhere else at the time. We need to find out where. A few years later, either directly or via a roundabout route, it arrived at the newly opened art dealership of Bruno Dunst jun. at Schlüterstrasse 65. Here it was purchased in 1975 as one of the first works for the Berlinische Galerie.

Buchumschlag mit Titel, Druck, Papier

The Academy of Arts exhibition catalogue for spring 1929 lists Paul Plontke with three works, among them a “Self-Portrait”.

Academy of Arts exhibition catalogue 1926

© Repro: Anja Elisabeth Witte
Ausstellungskatalog, Ansicht einer Seite mit Text, Druck, Papier

Academy of Arts exhibition catalogue spring edition 1929

© Public domain

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