Alfred Bernert – Blood and Soil

Alfred Bernert (1893–1991), son of a German farmer, was born is Dönis, which is nowadays the city of Hrádek nad Nisou in the Czech Republic. Bernert served in World War I where he was severely wounded and lost his right leg. In 1918, after his marriage, he moved to Bad Oppelsdorf (now Poland). He received a study grant from the state which enabled him to study at the Technischen Hochschule in Prague and at the Karls University in Prague. Bernert painted portraits and landscapes, but became later also known for his Blud und Boden (Blood and Soil) depictions. Some of these -including ‘Mother and Child’ and ‘Harmony’, both created in 1933- are still very popular on the internet in 2017.

At the end of the Second World War, in June 1945, Bernert and his family fled across the border to the city of Herrnhut in Germany. His first commissioned work was a portrait of the Sovjet Stadtkommandant of the city of Herrnhut. For the next 46 years, until his death, Bernert continued painting portraits and landscapes. In 1966 he created the large size ‘Krieg und Frieden’ (‘War and Peace’), which hung for many years in the hospital of Herrnhut. In 1974 Bernert was commissioned by the Czech economist Dr. Karl Janovsky to create a portrait of Hendrik Verwoerd, the former Prime Minster of South Africa who was assassinated in 1966. Janovsky, a great admirer of Verwoerd (the architect of the Apartheid regime in South Africa) gave this portrait to Verwoerd’s widow.

Alfred Bernert died in 1991 in the city of Herrnhut.


Published in: on October 9, 2017 at 1:22 am  Leave a Comment  

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