Born Krojanke, Germany
Died London, England
Erich Wolfsfeld was born in Krojanke, Germany in 1885 and studied at the Berlin Academy, as well as in Paris and Rome. During the First World War he served as an officer in the German army. From 1920 he worked as professor of painting and etching at the Berlin Academy, as well as travelling widely in North Africa and the Middle East.
Three years after Wolfsfeld’s post as Professor at Berlin’s Royal Academy School was terminated, he immigrated to Britain. Following internment on the Isle of Man, he settled in Sheffield, then London, travelling frequently throughout Europe and the Middle East, depicting both Jewish and Arab subjects on biblical themes.
A classic painter-etcher, Wolfsfeld mostly painted portraits. Stylistically unfashionable in post-war Britain, Wolfsfeld’s work fell into relative obscurity. Recent exhibitions have been held at the Belgrave Gallery (1977, 1995) and at Agnew’s (1990–91). His work is held in collections including London (National Portrait Gallery, Ben Uri) and Hull (Ferens Gallery), as well as in a number of museums in the USA.
Object type painting
Medium oil on canvas
Unframed 99.5 x 76.5 cm
Framed 128 x 108 cm
Signed signed, bottom left: Erich Wolfsfeld
Accession number 1995-1
Display status On display in 'Refugees: The Lives of Others' until 4 June 2017
Wolsfeld's patrons, artists Ben and Fay Pomerance, encouraged commissions among Sheffield’s Anglo-Jewish community in the late 1940s; his resulting portrait of Dorothy Stone, wearing turquoise satin and a favoured ruby and platinum bracelet, was considered an excellent likeness. Wolfsfeld later painted out the background after Dorothy considered it a distraction.