Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler 

Zweimal ein Kopf




Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler (Dresden 1899 - 1940 Pirna-Sonnenstein)

Zweimal ein Kopf [Two Heads, Sleeping Man], 

a portrait of a patient at the Hamburg-Friedrichsberg psychiatric ward


pastel on chamois-colored, slightly grained paper, framed

31 x 42 cm (framed 48,5 x 59,5 cm)

monogrammed lower center: "ELL/W"

Verso, at the lower edge of the sheet right, the estate stamp and handwritten annotations by the estate administration in pencil.

Framed in a passe-partout behind museum glass in a high-quality, veneered frame with thread inlays.

Catalogue raisonne: VMS Weinstock ELW076 with slightly different dimensions (29 x 39 cm)

Condition: Sheet slightly wavy overall. Slightly stained in the corners, and slightly smudged over the entire surface due to the technique. A light brownish, three-part trace of liquid in the area of the neck to the left figure. In the sheet corner above left, a crease mark (approx. 10 cm) with a trace of black paint on the crease edge. Very isolated small foxing spots. On verso, slight studio marks and yellowish discolouration in the margins due to an earlier glue mount.

Publication History:

Daniela Weinstock, Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler (1899–1940). Geschätzt – geächtet – verfolgt. Mit einem Katalog ihrer Werke, Band 2 (Werkkatalog) (Wiesbaden, 2019) (PhD diss., Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz), cat. no. ELW076, ill. pg. 57.


"Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler was a Dresden painter. From 1915-18, she studied at the Dresden School of Applied Arts [Dresdner Kunstgewerbeschule]; from 1916-19, she took courses at the Dresden Art Academy [Dresdner Kunstakademie]. She joined the Dresden Secession Group [Dresdner Sezession Gruppe] in 1919 and maintained friendships with Otto Dix, Otto Griebel and Conrad Felixmüller. In 1922, she followed her husband, the singer Kurt Lohse, to Görlitz, and in 1924 to Hamburg, where he left her a year later. Left to her own devices, she began to work more artistically. She became a member of the 'Bund Hamburgischer Künstlerinnen und Künstler' and took part in various exhibitions. In 1929, her mental condition forced her into the Hamburg-Friedrichsberg psychiatric ward. The first important group of works, the 'Friedrichsberg Heads,' was created there - with around 60 drawings [of which the present pastel drawing is an example]. Despite artistic successes, she had increasing economic problems, which caused her to return to her parents in Dresden in 1931. From 1932 she was under psychiatric treatment, first in Dresden Löbtau, then in Arnsdorf, where she took up the Friedrichsberg theme again and created a second body of work on studies of the mentally ill. In 1940, she was murdered in the state sanatorium and nursing home in Pirna-Sonnenstein as part of the National Socialist euthanasia campaign T4."  SK

"Simultaneous depiction of the head of a sleeping man wearing a checked flat cap is shown twice in the same size.  In the left-hand version, the man's head has sunk onto his chest, and, in the right-hand, he sleeps with his head drawn back such that a double chin forms.  Among the Friedrichsberger heads are various depictions of sleeping or bed-resting patients, such as, for example, in 'Schlaf' ['Sleep'] (cat. no. ELW068) and 'Schlafende' ['Sleeping'] (cat. no. ELW069) or 'Schmerzhaft Ruhende' ['Painfully Resting'] (cat. No. ELW071), 'Bildnis Erik Johannson im Bett' ['Portrait of Erik Johannson in Bed'] (cat. no. ELW074) and 'Leidender' ['Sufferer'] (cat. no. ELW072)."  Daniela Weinstock, Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler at pg. 57.

view with frame:
The Daulton Collection