The details of Charlotte Salomon’s extraordinary life tend to overshadow her work. Often likened to Anne Frank, the Jewish artist was shaped by the Nazis’ rise to power and by a suppressed family history of suicide, before her life was cut short at Auschwitz in 1943. She has inspired plays, an opera, a movie and an award-winning French novel, and is the subject of a forthcoming animated film.
That Salomon’s art has so far remained little known is something the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam is hoping to change by showing the artist’s legacy work, “Life? or Theater?,” comprising almost 800 gouache paintings, accompanying texts and musical references, in its entirety for the first time.
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