Otto Nagel

Nagel, Otto


Born Sept. 27, 1894, in Berlin; died there July 12, 1967. German painter and graphic artist. Member of the Communist Party of Germany from 1919. One of the founders (1950) and president (1956–62) of the German Academy of Arts in Berlin. Honorary Member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR (1958).

An adherent of critical realism, Nagel learned to paint on his own. His works of the 1920’s and early 1930’s deal with the life and struggle of the Berlin working class. His Armed Workers (1931) and Hero of the Day (1924) are in the Museum of the Revolution of the USSR, Moscow. Under the German fascist dictatorship, Nagel was subjected to persecution.

After 1949, Nagel’s paintings deal with socialist construction in the German Democratic Republic and the new life of the German people, for example, his Builder-Mason (1953, National Gallery, Berlin). He also painted portraits and executed many cityscapes in pastels. Nagel was awarded the National Prize of the German Democratic Republic in 1950.


Leben und Werk. [Foreword by M. Schroeder.] Berlin, 1952.


Marchenko, E. Otto Nagel’. Moscow, 1960.
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On the anniversary of the artist's 150th birthday, this show focuses on the relationships Kollwitz forged with other artists, patrons and friends such as Albert Einstein and Otto Nagel. Pictured here is Afrikanerin (1889) by Marianne Fiedler, a fellow student and friend of Kollwitz.