Who was the artist Hans Hartung?

Hans Hartung was a French painter, photographer and architect of German origins. Called the “painter of flashes of lightning”, Hartung was one of the pioneers of the Lyrical Abstraction movement alongside Pierre Soulages and Gérard Schneider.

The painter Hans Hartung was born on 21 September 1904 in Leipzig, Germany. He began drawing in his school notebooks from a young age. Hartung left Germany to settle in Paris in 1932 because of the rise of National Socialism in his home country. He joined the Foreign Legion and was later demobilised after the armistice in 1940. Hartung took refuge in Spain in 1942, where the German artist was arrested by Franco’s police forces and imprisoned at the Miranda del Ebro concentration camp, where he would stay for seven months. Freed by the consul of Free France, Hartung tried to join the regular French army, but was sent back to the Foreign Legion because of his German nationality. Hartung was injured in combat in 1944 and his right leg was amputated. The German painter returned to Paris in 1945 and again began working on his paintings. In 1959, Hartung began working on a catalogue of his work containing references to almost all of his works. Hans Hartung and Ana-Eva Bergman began constructing a house and two studios in an olive grove in Antibes in 1968. In 1981, the Austrian government created the Oskar Kokoschka prize and Hartung became the first person to whom it was awarded. The artist Hans Hartung died in 1989 in Antibes at the age of 85.

You can visit the painter Hans Hartung’s dedicated page to discover a complete portrait of this German artist.

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