Figure with Bicycle II
  • Heinrich Campendonk
  • Krefeld 1889 - 1957 Amsterdam
  • Figure with Bicycle II, 1947
  • Watercolour over pen and grey ink, on laid paper
  • monogrammed and dated with pen and black ink on the lower right: C. /47
  • 296 × 209 mm
Edith Campendonk-Van Leckwyck (1899-1987)
Amsterdam Gallery d‘ Eendt, Amsterdam
Private collection, Brussels (since 1965)
Andrea Firmenich: Heinrich Campendonk. 1889-1957. Mit Werkkatalog des malerischen Œuvres (catalogue raisonné), Recklinghausen 1989, no. 1117 A (ill.)
Krefeld 1960, Haus Lange, cat. no. 80, p. 88 (ill.)
Munich 1960, Museum Lenbachhaus, cat. no. 52
Amsterdam 1965, Gallery d‘ Eendt: Heinrich Campendonk, cat. no. 3 (ill.)

Campendonk began studying at the age of 16 at the School of Applied Arts in his hometown of Krefeld. By 1911, he was already celebrated by two of the most important art dealers in Germany – Heinrich Thannhauser in Munich und Herwarth Walden in Berlin – as the “shooting star” of the Avant-Garde. Both gallery owners showed Campendonk’s works in their first, highly acclaimed exhibitions of the nascent German Expressionism. Likewise in 1911, he followed an invitation from Franz Marc to move to the Bavarian village of Sindelsdorf, where he met Kandinsky, Klee, Jawlensky, and other artists.

Despite his contacts with the Blaue Reiter, Campendonk continued to exhibit in the Sturm gallery in Berlin, at Alfred Flechtheim’s in Düsseldorf, and at the Crown Prince’s Palace in Berlin. After World War I, his works were to be seen in major exhibitions in France, Belgium, and the USA as well. With his return to Krefeld, Campendonk assumed a teaching position at the art college in Essen, as well as a professorship at the Academy in Düsseldorf beginning in 1926 – which he was forced to give up, however, when the Nazis seized power in 1933. He emigrated in the same year to Belgium and Holland.

After the war, Campendonk’s designs for stained-glass windows were particularly in demand for the bombed-out churches in West Germany; yet he continued to reside in the Netherlands, where his life’s work was recognized with numerous accolades.

A slightly smaller variation of this composition exists from the same year: em (watercolour over pen and ink, 272 x 179 mm), Firmenich no. 1116 A.