Max Renneisen is a German painter based in Berlin. It is vital to his paintings and drawings to build on the legacy of the Old Masters and to explore the painterly possibilities of the imitation of nature in the light of modern imagery. Working in a range of media and formats, from small drawings on paper to large-scale oil paintings on canvas, Max Renneisen is particularly concerned with general issues such as human relationship with nature and the relationship between ideal and reality.

Renneisen’s Menagerie paintings are part of an ongoing project of life-size depictions of animals. Inspired by the works of Jean-Baptiste Oudry and aware of the pictorial possibilities of modern media, his paintings are a new approach to the tradition of animals in painting. Carefully observed and constructed, the animals are placed in invented settings in the manner of Baroque portraits, thus presenting them as individual, conscious beings and as ideal representatives of a species at the same time.

Max Renneisen’s occupation with the natural world eventually led him to explore the role of mankind in it. Paradise Lost is a continuing group of paintings and drawings, which renews the classical subject of the nude in nature. While the figures derive from modern photographic material found primarily in magazines, the surrounding landscapes are mere constructions inspired by Old Masters paintings. Renneisen’s distant, objectifying and often ironic view raises questions about the relationship between human culture and nature. 

Max Renneisen was born in Hamburg in 1977. He first studied Architecture at Bauhaus-University, Weimar, before he changed to History of Art at Humboldt-University of Berlin and concluded his studies with a Master’s degree. Numerous journeys took him to the most important museums and galleries in Europe, where he studied the works of Guido Reni, Diego Velázquez, Peter Paul Rubens, Jusepe de Ribera and Frans Hals as well as Joshua Reynolds and Gustave Courbet. He shares his passion for 19th-century photography with his partner visual artist Katharina Renneisen.

Selected Exhibitions

2020    Diamonds, König Galerie, Berlin

2020    Drawing Wow 2, Kunstsaele, Berlin

2019    Strangers in Paradise, Wurlitzer Pied à Terre Collection, Berlin

2018    The Discerning Eye, Mall Galleries, London

2018    Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London

2017    Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet!, Le Manoir, Mouthier Haute-Pierre

2016    Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London

2016    In Search of Paradise Lost, Volume, Berlin