Self-Portrait as a Degenerate Artist
© DACS 2004

Reference URL

Self-Portrait as a Degenerate Artist 1937

On Display Modern One

Eight of Kokschka's paintings were included in the exhibition of Degenerate 'Art' organised by the Nazis to pour scorn on modern art. The artist altered the position of his arms in this painting, to make them defiantly crossed, in response his inclusion in the exhibition. The background shows the woods behind the house belonging to his future wife's grandparents, where he had begun the painting. A deer can be seen on the right and a running figure on the left. It has been suggested that both of these elements refer to flight or pursuit and to the artist as a hunted man.

Glossary Open

Degenerate 'Art'

Or Entartete Kunst. Term coined in the 1930s by the Nazis in Germany to ridicule modern art that didn't fit with Hitler's vision. Exhibitions of such works confiscated from German museums were staged and German artists branded with the term were banned from exhibiting their work.

Degenerate 'Art'


  • Acc. No. GML 285
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Size 110.00 x 85.00 cm
  • Credit Long loan in 1975