Portrait Fritz, 1944, Charcoal on blue-gray Ingres paper, 38,5 x 27,7 cm

Portrait Fritz, 1944

On the basis of her solid academic training, coupled with an unerring eye for her vis-à-vis and her curiosity for encounters with people, Ruth Baumgarte created astonishingly lively, immediately appealing portraits of children and adolescents from 1943 onward. The seriousness of life is inscribed remarkably deeply into their facial features. 

This way, the young artist became a precise and close observer of the world surrounding her and of the so called Lost Generation of the 1940s, not to be stopped by forbidden or inconvenient truths but dedicating her work to the people around her and their lives and realities throughout her life. 

At the same time, however, she was just as interested in people at the end of their lives and created portraits of old men turning inward in a mixture of reflection and resignation.