Hagedorn, Karl

(1889 – 1969)

Rhythmical Expression: Full-length Female Nude, c. 1913

SKU: 11137

Oil on canvas

Height: 76.2cm
Width: 50.8cm


Private Collection since circa 1950; thence by descent

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.102.

In a frame of the artist’s own design.

In 1910, Hagedorn studied at the Manchester School of Art under the French Impressionist painter Pierre Adolphe Valette, before heading to Paris in 1912 alongside fellow student, Francis Sladen-Smith. While in Paris, Hagedorn worked in the atelier of Maurice Denis, exhibited at the Société du Salon d’automne, and met with Henri Matisse in his studio at Issy-les-Moulineaux, where he would have observed the melodious, energetic works undertaken by the artist for his patron, Sergei Shchukin. 

Hagedorn returned to England in the early part of 1913, and in the ensuing months, he set about absorbing and reinterpreting these lessons, producing the works he would display at the second exhibition of Manchester’s Society of Modern Painters. These rhythmical expressions’, as he called them, were to be some of the boldest and most singular examples of Post-Impressionism ever exhibited in Britain.

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Hagedorn, Karl

1889 – 1969

Painter, born in Berlin, Germany, who moved to England in 1905, later adopting British nationality. He went to Manchester in 1905 to train in textile production and also studied art under Adolphe Valette at the local Manchester School of Art and then at The Slade School of Fine Ar, followied by two yearss in Paris, in 1912-13, when, working under Maurice Denis, he absorbed a range of avant-garde styles. On his return to England, he made a consciously pioneering attempt to introduce Modernism into Manchester through his work as both painter and designer. He became a British subject in 1914 and served as a Lance-Corporal in the Middlesex Regiment during World War I.

He exhibited at the Manchester Society of Modern Painters, RA, RBA, RSMA and with the NEAC. In 1925 he received the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition of Decorative Art, Paris and in 1935 he was elected RBA. He exhibited at a number of leading galleries in London and the provinces, and was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, the Royal Society of Marine Artists, the New English Art Club and the NS. In 1995, the Chris Beetles Gallery hosted ‘Manchester’s First Modernist’, an important retrospective exhibition of the work of Karl Hagedorn organised in conjunction with the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. It was accompanied by an illustrated biographical catalogue. His work is in the collection of the Atkinson Art Gallery, BM, GAC, Manchester City Art Gallery V&A and the Wellcome Library.

With thanks to artbiogs.co.uk


Karl Hagedorn
Nude seated with left leg raised; right arm over her bowed head, circa 1910
Karl Hagedorn
Study for ‘America’
Karl Hagedorn
Australia I, late 1930’s
Karl Hagedorn
Study for ‘America’, mid 1930’s
Karl Hagedorn
Design: A Self-portrait Rowing