Fritz Mackensen

Fritz Mackensen ( born April 8, 1866 in Greene at Kreiensen, † May 12 1953 in Bremen ) was a German painter, co-founder of Worpswede and Head of the Nordic School of Art, now the University of the Arts Bremen.


Fritz Mackensen was the brother of optician and inventor Otto Mackensen and the architect William Mackensen. He studied since 1884 in collaboration with Otto Modersohn and Fritz Overbeck at the Düsseldorf, 1888 /89 Friedrich August von Kaulbach and Wilhelm von Diez at the Munich Art Academy.

As early as 1884 discovered Mackensen at the invitation of the merchant's daughter Mimi Stolte the Moordorf Worpswede with its landscape and the rural population for his work and spent the summer months; 1889 followed him Modersohn and Hans am Ende, 1893/94 Overbeck and Heinrich Vogeler. In the winter months 1892/93 was Mackensen master student Christian Ludwig Bokel 's in Karlsruhe and Berlin. 1895/96 he took part in the art exhibitions in Munich Glass Palace. He is co-founder of Worpswede, which was founded in 1889. Mackensen lived from 1895 to 1904 continuously in Worpswede and also taught Paula Modersohn -Becker, George Harms Rüstringen, Ottilie Reylaender and Clara Westhoff. He was appointed professor at the Art Academy of Weimar, its director in 1910. 1918 Mackensen returned back to Worpswede.

He was a member of the Stahlhelm, for which he also engaged in publishing, as well as in nationalist -minded, anti -Semitic League of Struggle for German Culture.

From 1933 to 1935 he was entrusted with the development and management of the Nordic Art School in Bremen. In 1937 he joined the NSDAP. Mackensen was a respected artist in the era of National Socialism, and was present in 1937 at the first Great German Art Exhibition in Munich's Haus der Deutschen Kunst with the painting service in the bog. In 1941 he was awarded the Goethe Medal for Art and Science. In 1942 he stayed at the age of 76 years as a major propaganda spare department in occupied northern France, where he painted sea and beach images. In the final stages of World War II, he was taken up by Adolf Hitler in the Gottbegnadeten list of the most important painters in August 1944, which kept him on the home front facing another war effort.

Starting from the plein-air painting of landscapes and depictions of rural life (including worship outdoors, 1886-95 ) Mackensen turned around the turn of the century an idealized painting in the tradition of the 19th century. He wrote, among other Worpswede and his first painters ( 1940).


Works (selection)


  • Worship in the open air ( 1895) in the Historical Museum in Hanover
  • Grieving family (1896 ) in the Great Art Show in Worpswede
  • Flounder (1899 ) at the Museum in Weimar
  • Animal picture in the museum in Oldenburg

Bronze sculpture:

  • Old Woman with Goat ( 1898) in the Kunsthalle Bremen