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Rudolf Maeglin

Arbeiter, 1934

oil on canvas
117 x 77cm
About Rudolf Maeglin
Rudolf Maeglin grew up in Basel during the turn of the twentieth century. He originally trained in medicine and worked as an assistant doctor in Geneva, before leaving this profession to pursue a career as a freelance artist. After initially travelling to Italy, he remained in Paris during the 1920s, taking in the thriving art scene and learning from the Fauvist, Expressionist and Surrealist movements which had made their home in this city. The bold use of colour, naïve sketching and parallel perspective that would come to define his painterly register were honed during this explorative era. Returning to Basel, Maeglin took posts at various factories and chemical labs which soon became the principal subject matter of his paintings. His works from the 1930s and 40s magnify machine bolts, billowing clouds of steam in boiler rooms and relentless workers. Maeglin was a founding member of Group 33, an anti-fascist collective of artists who formed in 1933. In addition to his industrious tableaux, Maeglin also developed as a portrait painter, tenderly rendering family members and friends in warm hues. As an outsider artist, Maeglin’s work sadly didn’t receive much critical claim until his later years in the 1960s. Posthumously however, his work has been heralded, with his works laying testament to the artistic, political and social shifts of the twentieth century.