Erwin Knirr, Das Erwachen


Price: on request


‘Das Erwachen’ (‘Waking Up’).
Displayed at the GDK 1942 room 17.
Bought by Robert Ley for 5,000 Reichsmark.
Depicted in the official GDK-exhibition catalog of 1942.

‘Das Erwachen’ by Knirr, displayed at the GDK 1942 room 17.

‘Das Erwachen’ by Knirr, depicted in the 1942 GDK exhibition catalog.

‘Gut Rottland’, the house of Robert Ley, located in Waldbröl near Gummersbach. Photo published in LIFE Magazine, 1945.


-condition : II
– size : 151 x 123 cm; unframed 137 x 109 cm
– signed : at the lower left: ‘E Knirr 1941’ 
– type : oil on canvas laid on board
– misc. : painting located in the USA


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Erwin Knirr, ‘Der Abend’ (‘The Evening’), GDK 1943 room 31.


Erwin Knirr, ‘Bäuerlicher Feierabend’ (‘Farmers after Work‘), GDK 1944 room 25. Bought by Joseph Goebbels for 5,500 Reichsmark. In the possession of the German Historical Museum. Size 140 x 110 cm.

‘Bäuerlicher Feierabend’ by Knirr, depicted on a postcard.

Erwin Knirr, ‘Weiblicher Akt’ (‘Female Nude‘), GDK 1937 room 35. Size 71 x 55 cm. Als depicted in ‘Brückmanns Lexicon der Münchener Kunst, Münchener Maler im 19./20. Jahrhundert, page 482. In the possession of the Deutsches Historisches Museum.

Erwin Knirr, ‘Bildnis meiner Frau’ (‘Portrait of my Wife‘), GDK 1943 room 25.

Left: Erwin Knirr, ‘Stehende Frauenakt’ (‘Standing Female Nude‘), around 1930. Size 49 x 37 cm. Sold by a German auction house in 2017.
Right: Erwin Knirr, ‘Portrait eines Offizieres mit Pickelhaube‘ (‘Portrait of an Officer with Pickelhaube‘). Signed 1922. Size 111 x 82 cm, Sold by an German auction house in 2016.

Erwin Knirr, ‘Weiblicher Akt’ (‘Female Nude‘), displayed at the ‘Münchener Kunstausstellung im Glaspalast 1925‘. Depicted in ‘Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration‘, 1925.

Left: Erwin Knirr, ‘Mädchen in Tracht mit Zöpfen‘ (‘Girl in traditional Dress with Braids‘). Signed 1944. Size 64 x 50 cm. Sold by a German auction house in 2007.
Right: Erwin Knirr, ‘Die Vorlesestunde‘ (‘Story Hour‘). Size 137 x 99 cm. Sold by a German auction house in 1994.   

Erwin Knirr, ‘Nach der Kostümprobe‘ (‘After Dress Rehearsal‘), 1938. Size 119 x 98 cm. Displayed at the GDK 1939 room 10. Bought by Hitler for 900 Reichsmark. In the possession of the German Historical Museum.

Erwin Knirr, ‘Bildnis eines jungen Mädchens‘ (‘Portrait of a young Girl‘), displayed at the ‘Münchener Kunstausstellung‘, Maximilianeum, 1942. Depicted in the exhibition catalog. Also depicted in ‘Die Kunst im Deutschen Reich’, 1942.

Left: Erwin Knirr, ‘Wäsche im Freien‘ (‘Washed Laundry Hanging Outdoors‘), 1928. Size 68 x 51 cm. Depicted in ‘Brückmanns Lexicon der Münchener Kunst, Münchener Maler im 19./20. Jahrhundert, page 483. In the possession of the ‘Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus’.
Right:  ‘Wäsche im Freien‘, displayed by Galerie Heinemann in 1930. Depicted in ‘Die Kunst für Alle’, 1929/30. 

Erwin Knirr, ‘Ein Tag am Strand’ (‘A Day on the Beach’), 1932. Sold by an American auction house in 2012.


Erwin Knirr
Erwin Knirr (1894 – 1973), born in Munich, was a German painter just like his father Heinrich Knirr (1862 – 1944). Initially, Erwin was his father’s student before attending the Art Academy in Munich from 1912 to 1914, where he studied under Angelo Jank. He served in WWI and from 1919 onwards he continued his studies at the Academy in Stuttgart, under Arno Waldschmidt and R. Breger. Later he studied again in München, under Carl von Marr. As a member of the ‘Künstlergenossenschaft’ in Munich, Erwin Knirr displayed his works at the Munich Glass Palace for the first time in 1924 (21 works in that year). Knirr also participated in the ‘La Quattordicesima Esposizione D’arte A Venezia, 1924’ (1924 Venice Biennale) with ‘La Casa dei Genitori’ (‘The Parental Home’). Further exhibitions took place at the Galerie Heinemann, Munich. Erwin’s diversified oeuvre includes landscapes, portraits, nudes, figural compositions, interiors and still lives. In 1935, he moved from Munich to Schaftlach am Tegernsee. He married Franziska Stichaner in 1937.
In 1942 Knirr participated in the ‘Münchener Kunstausstellung’ and a year later in the ‘Ausstellung Münchener Künstler 1943’, both held in the Maximilianeum.
At the Great German Art Exhibitions, Knirr was represented with 19 works.  Adolf Hitler purchased two of his works, Robert Ley purchased ‘Das Erwachen’ (‘Waking Up’, GDK 1942) for 5,000 Reichsmark and Joseph Goebbels purchased ‘Bäuerlicher Feierabend’ (‘Farmers after Work‘, GDK 1944) for 5,500 Reichsmark. 
Erwin Knirr died in Schaftlach am Tegernsee in 1973.
The Lenbachhaus in Munich currently holds three of his works: ‘Bildnis Frau Schab’ (‘Portrait of Ms. Schab’, 1931), ‘Wäsche im Freien’ (‘Washed Laundry Hanging Outdoors‘, 1928, displayed in Galerie Heinemann in 1930), and ‘Atelierecke’ (‘Corner of Atelier’). The German Historical Museum holds ‘Bäuerlicher Feierabend’ (GDK 1944), ‘Weiblicher Akt’ (‘Female Nude‘, GDK 1937) and ‘Nach der Kostümprobe‘ (‘After Dress Rehearsal‘, GDK 1939).