Portrait of Eduard Busse, 1946

Portrait of Eduard Busse, 1946
Oil on paper, 58 x 48 cm

A cigarette dangling from his lips, his hat pushed back over his high forehead and his gaze focused to the side: in just a few brushstrokes, this is how the 23-year-old artist Ruth Busse characterises the man whom she had married in the middle of 1943.

Ruth met the art student Eduard Busse at the start of her degree at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Berlin. After the war, she moved to live with his family in Bielefeld. That is where she produced this oil sketch in expressive oranges and blues, probably painted directly from life. We are almost looking over the painter's shoulder and can see how the subject’s balding head emerges in just a few powerful strokes of the brush. Spontaneous brushstrokes gives the subject a bold expression that seems to focus beyond the picture. Ruth and Eduard Busse exchanged countless letters during their enforced wartime separation that testify to a close and intimate relationship. However, the marriage was to break down in 1946.

Historical Photograph

Photograph of E. Busse around 1944