This portrait by the painter Lotte Laserstein is both an atmospheric depiction of the sitter and an important document in the history of early 20th-century German art.

Laserstein was one of the first women to study at the Berlin Academy, where she became a star pupil. After her graduation in 1927 she set up a studio and began exhibiting her work. Many of her portraits from this period show independent women in urban settings. Under the Nazi regime, Laserstein was persecuted for her Jewish origins and in 1937 she emigrated to Sweden. There she secured numerous commissions, many of them through the émigré lawyer Josef Fischler. This portrait of FischlerÂ’s wife, Lotte, was a gift to thank him for his help. It shows the fashionably dressed Lotte alone in a café with a cocktail. New Walk Museum has one of the most important collections of early 20th-century German art in Britain, with special emphasis on work by women. This painting represents a significant addition to that collection by a major figure of the period.


Private collection, North Germany

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