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Werner Gilles

 (1894 - 1961)
Werner Gilles was active/lived in United States, Germany.  Werner Gilles is known for painting.

Werner Gilles

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Werner Gilles
Werner Gilles was born in 1894 in Rheydt near Mönchengladbach.  After World War I, Gilles became a student of Walther Klemm's at the "Weimarer Akademie", but in 1919 he transferred to the newly founded "Bauhaus", where he attended Lyonel Feininger's class.  Until 1923 the artist remained registered at this art and design school.  During this time, Werner Gilles was friends with Gerhard Marcks and Oskar Schlemmer.  In 1921-22 Gilles decided to travel to Italy for the first time.  Werner Gilles post-graduate life was marked by continuous moves: Between 1925 and 1930, after a further trip to Italy, he stayed in Düsseldorf, Paris and Berlin.

During his first trip to the Italian island of Ischia in 1932, Gilles discovered the things that inspired his imagination for painting: the unification of antique Paganism and western Christianity of past and present.  Werner Gilles discovered the central subject of his pictures.  In his oil paintings and his watercolors Gilles depicts the buoyant and the threatening sides of this primordial landscape and captures its basic nature in ever new variations, which are created outside in the open countryside. Gilles' favorite themes came to fruition in two Orpheus Cycles in 1947-49 and in the watercolors illustrating the Tibetan Book of the Dead painted in 1950.

His late works combined various stylistic impulses.  Werner Gilles' early southern landscapes of the 1920s were based on the painting techniques of the "Murnauer Schule" and the "Blauer Reiter". T owards the end of the 1930s, a classical formal language can be observed in his drawings and paintings.  During and after the war his works were determined by simplifying stylization of objects and figures and an increasing planeness of composition.  From 1951 Gilles spent his winters in Munich and his summers on the Italian Island of Ischia.

Werner Gilles died on June 23, 1961 in Essen, Germany.


Biography from Auctionata
Werner Gilles was born in 1894 in Rheydt near Mönchengladbach.  After his military service he studied at the Academy in Weimar under Walther Klemm, however, switched then to the Bauhaus a short time later where he became a student of Lyonel Feininger and made friends with Oskar Schlemmer as well as Gerhard Marcks.

After his studies he traveled extensively to Italy and stayed for some time in Düsseldorf, Berlin and Paris.  Especially the Italian island of Ischia had quite the effect on the artist.  As a result it served as a motif in many of his works.

In the early years of his career, his way of painting was based on the expressionists of the Blaue Reiter, yet it developed into a more academic and classical style in the end of the 1930s and then eventually turned back to a stylized and more extensive style during the post-war period.  Gilles died in 1961.

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About  Werner Gilles

Born:  1894 - Rheydt, Germany
Died:   1961 - Essen, Germany
Known for:  painting