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Herrenporträt nach links | 1932
Herrenporträt nach links | 1932
Herrenporträt nach links | 1932

Herrenporträt nach links | 1932

Theodor Zeller

1900 Donzdorf — 1986 Freiburg im Breisgau

Theodor Zeller was born in Donzdorf in Swabia. Shortly before he was due to take his final exams, Zeller volunteered for the army. After the war, in 1920–21, he took the school exams that he had earlier postponed. At his mother’s request, he then registered at the University of Tubingen in 1922 to study theology and philosophy with a view to becoming a priest. He briefly switched to the University of Freiburg im Breisgau, and a scholarship also allowed him to study at Munich University for two semesters. He applied to join the Munich Academy of Fine Arts, but was rejected. Back in Freiburg, Zeller abandoned his studies of theology and turned instead to painting. He first studied the basics of life drawing under Hans Lembke. In 1927, a patron provided the funds for him to spend a year studying art in Florence. In 1928 Zeller married Eva-Martina Gurschner from Vienna. They moved to Denzlingen near Freiburg, where Zeller henceforth worked as a freelance artist in his own studio. From 1935 onwards, the family was increasingly exposed to personal hostility because Eva-Martina was Jewish. She was sent a letter ordering her enforced sterilisation, upon which she fled to Rome. She found work in the Villa Massimo, which at the time was home to many German artists, but was fired when she was unable to provide proof of “Aryan” heritage.

Artist works

Herrenporträt nach links | 1932
Portrait of a man, looking left | 1932
Mixed technique on fibre cement board
35 x 34 cm
(Photo: Florian Stürzenbaum © Theodor Zeller )

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