Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach

Asking the Stars,

1895, oil on canvas


Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach (1851-1913)

"Asking the Stars"

oil on canvas


60 x 45 cm 

signed and dated (incised) lower left: "K. W. Diefenbach 1895"


Publication History:

Claudia Wagner, Der Kuenstler Karl Eilhelm Diefenbach (1851-1913), Meister und Mission, diss. 2007, Werkkatalog, pg. 25, W.K Nr. 3.27 and 3.28.

For related paintings, see: Michael Buhrs, ed., Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach (1851-1913) Lieber sterben, als meine Ideale verleugnen! (Munich: Museum Villa Stuck and Edition Minerva, 2009), pgs. 163-164, ills. 135-136.


Looking for answers in the sublime nature of the infinite universe: “Asking the Stars,” by Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach.

With his long hair, bare feet, flowing robes, and  revolutionary ideas, Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach (1851-1913) was a counterculture figure of late 19th-century Germany.  Naturist, vegetarian, pacifist, and utopian-commune founder, Diefenbach was also one of the most distinctive and visionary German artists in the symbolist idiom.  This painting, “Asking the Stars,” presents one of his recurrent motifs.

For a relatively brief but significant period, Diefenbach’s followers included the young artist Fidus (Hugo Höppener), upon whom Diefenbach was a profound influence.

In the Daulton Collection, there are 12 oil paintings by Diefenbach, constituting the largest collection in the USA. 


Jack Daulton

The Daulton Collection

Los Altos Hills, California