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Heinrich Campendonk

 (1889 - 1957)
Heinrich Campendonk was active/lived in United States, Germany, Netherlands.  Heinrich Campendonk is known for Abstract landscape with animals, figures and portrait painting, teaching.

Heinrich Campendonk

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Heinrich Campendonk
Art Analysis & Research 2015:

Tripped Up by Titanium White

In 2002, the sale at a German auction house of a 1914 work, "Red Painting with Horses” by Heinrich Campendonk, set the record price for a work by this artist.  Two years later, the actor Steve Martin bought another "Campendonk" dated to 1915 from a Parisian gallery.  Many other buyers were tempted by these newly discovered "Campendonks"  including the Sprengel Museum Hanover, which purchased "Cat in mountain landscape."

Because "Red Painting with Horses" was not listed in Campendonk's catalogue raisonne, its new owner began to research the work, eventually uncovering a forger whose career spanned decades, whose accomplices placed numerous unaccounted for forgeries and who defrauded buyers of tens of millions of dollars.

Dr. Nicholas Eastaugh, now director at Art Analysis & Research (AA&R), was asked to undertake a pigment analysis of "Red Painting with Horses."  Eastaugh found that the preparation of the canvas upon which the work is painted contained the pigment titanium white.  That pigment was not produced commercially until the 1920s and was not widely used in artist’s paints until decades later.

After the pigment was discovered, other aspects were more closely examined, including chronological problems with its provenance.  It was also discovered that the gallery labels on the reverse of the painting were themselves forgeries.  The conclusion: the picture was unlikely to have been painted before the 1950s, and mostly likely, rather later.

In the meantime, Steve Martin had sold his “Campendonk” and a group of other works by a range of artists that shared a connection to the same collection from which "Red Painting" was said to originate also began to come under scrutiny.  The result was the exposure of Beltracchi’s career as a forger.
Since then, AA&R has studied many more Beltracchis; Dr. Eastaugh and AA&R's principal research associate, Dr. Jilleen Nadolny, have become well acquainted with his methods.  In so doing, AA&R has obtained a great deal of insight into Beltracchi’s techniques and have published several articles on the subject.  This work has also helped buyers obtain compensation for the forgeries they had purchased.

Despite his conviction, Beltracchi remains proud of his ability to embarrass the world’s art experts, discerning collectors and art professionals.  Beltracchi worked as a forger for three decades; it may take that much time, or even more, for the art market to root out all of the false works that he put on the market.


Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for Heinrich Campendonk
After his studies under Dutch artist Johan Thorn Prikker at the Krefeld "Kunstgewerbeschule", Heinrich Campendonk followed Franz Marc's invitation to the Bavarian village of Sindelsdorf and moved there in 1911.  At that time Heinrich Campendonk already found the basic subject of his works: the depiction of harmony between man and beast, Creation, the infinite circle of life and death. He produced paintings, watercolors, gouaches and his first woodcuts.

In Sindelsdorf the artist met other members of the "Blauer Reiter" group and participated in one of the group's exhibitions that very same year. Two years later, Heinrich Campendonk also showed his work together with the "Blauer Reiter" at the "Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon" at Herwarth Walden's gallery "Der Sturm" in Berlin.

During these years Campendonk's artwork was influenced by Marc, Macke and Kandinsky. A stiff geometrical form language was combined with color in pure complementary contrasts to a dynamic, rhythmic form language.

In 1916 Heinrich Campendonk moved to Seeshaupt at the Starnberger See, from where he went on extensive travels. At that point Campendonk's painting was marked by softly flowing forms, large calm areas of intensive light and lyrical, often fairytale-like mood. He also produced works in glass painting.

In 1926 Campendonk was appointed professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy.

Campendonk gained acclaim as an artist since the mid-1920s particularly through numerous glass windows he made for churches and public buildings (such as the Düsseldorf parliament building and the Paulskirche and the Essen Münster etc.). When he was dismissed from his teaching profession in 1933, he emigrated to the Netherlands, where he accepted a teaching position for "monumental and decorative art" at the "Rijksakademie van beeldende Kunsten" in Amsterdam.

After the end of the war, Campendonk did not return to Germany. He continued to work as a teacher and received numerous orders for glass windows in the Netherlands and Germany. In 1956 Campendonk was awarded the Quellinus Prize by the city of Amsterdam and made knight of the order "De Nederlandse Leeuw".

Heinrich Campendonk died in Amsterdam in 1957.

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About  Heinrich Campendonk

Born:  1889 - Krefeld, Holland
Died:   1957 - Amsterdam, Holland
Known for:  Abstract landscape with animals, figures and portrait painting, teaching