Franz Domscheit (Pranas Domšaitis, 1880–1965) enjoyed travelling, and in the 1920s visited many European countries, Turkey, and even Africa. His wanderings in Africa have not yet been documented, but it is known that he went to Somalia, where he painted portraits of local people. It is likely that this portrait of a dark-skinned girl conveys his impressions from that journey, although it resembles Gauguin’s Tahitian girls more than a Somali (the likeness may be the result of his impressions of Post-Impressionist art from when he was young). Africa later became his homeland, for when the Nazis came to power, they classed his works as ‘degenerate art’, and Domscheit had to leave Germany. He and his wife wandered around Europe until the end of the war. In 1949, they decided to go to the Republic of South Africa, and settled in Cape Town. This is how African motifs became prevalent in the late period of Domscheit’s work. Giedrė Jankevičiūtė.


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