Anita Rée, “Weiße Bäume in Positano” [White Trees in Positano], 1925

    Source Description

    Anita Rée’s 1925 painting “White Trees in Positano” can be considered the most important work from her years in Italy. In the early 1920s the Hamburg painter had spent several years in the Italian village of Positano. During her time there she studied the architecture of this mountain village, its landscape and inhabitants, whom she captured in individual portraits or folk life scenes. Fascinated by quattrocento painting and especially Piero della Francesca’s frescoes in Arezzo, she eventually developed a style that was very much in the vein of New Objectivity. “White Trees in Positano” depicts a road turning into a bridge and, in a narrow curve, winding its way up a slope and in between several buildings. The scene is framed by walls. While this work is considered a highlight among Rées Positano vistas today, it was controversial at the time. The history of this painting, which was long considered lost, hints at Anita Rée’s own fate. Although she never identified as Jewish, she fell victim to National Socialist persecution. Today the painting is housed at the Hamburger Kunsthalle.
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    Recommended Citation

    Anita Rée, “Weiße Bäume in Positano” [White Trees in Positano], 1925, edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <> [June 21, 2024].