The Expressionist movement in Germany embraced stylistic phenomena as disparate as the first abstract watercolors painted by Wassily Kandinsky around 1910 and the social criticism of the art of the Weimar period as here represented by this picture of young poet Walter Rheiner (1895-1925) committing suicide in 1925 in Berlin. This tragic event was painted with outstanding realism by Conrad Felixmuller.
Felixmuller (1897-1977) was born in Dresden. In 1919 he became a founding member with Otto Dix of the Dresdner secession and a member of the November Group. In 1936, around 40 of his works were part of the Nazi exhibition "Degenerated Art. Felix Mueller was excluded from the Berlin Künstlerbund and all his pictures withdrewn from public collections. The Nazis destroyed from 1938 to 1939 a total of 151 of his works. From 1949 to 1962 Felix Mueller taught at the University of Halle.
His picture of the Death of the Poet Walter Rheiner was sold in 1981 for Mk 543,750 ($ 232,960). It is now part of the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum.