Werner Peiner


Painter, stained glass, mosaics, textiles. Born 20 July 1897 in Düsseldorf. 1914-18: military service. From 1919: studied at the Düsseldorf Akademie. From 1922: freelanced in Bonn and Düsseldorf, and, from 1931, in Kronenburg-Eifel. By early 1930s: Shell a major client, for which he designed the Shell river-maps, and the stained-glass wall and large mosaic for Shell House, Berlin. From 1933: taught monumental painting at the Düsseldorf Akademie.

1935: after a four-month painting trip to Central and East Africa, his resulting canvases, ‘painted in a style reminiscent at the same time of Functionalism and Henri Rousseau, are accused by certain journalists of being “non-German” art. The criticisms cease when Hitler himself acquires the triptych “Das schwarze Paradies” in 1938 for the new Chancellery in Berlin.’ From June 1937: head of the Hermann-Göring-Meisterschule für Malerei, Kronenburg; appointed member of the Prussian Art Academy, but his troubles continued: ‘The same year, one of his engravings is confiscated at Düsseldorf in the course of the battle against “degenerate art”’. 1937: awarded Gold Medal at the Paris World Exhibition. February 1938: Hitler bought another Peiner canvas which was exhibited at the Berlin Academy. 1938: tapestry commissions for the Berlin Chancellery (not completed). 1940: appointed Privy Councillor of the Prussian State. ‘The Kronenburg School is dissolved in 1945. He is then evacuated to Gimborn (Bergisches Land), where he is captured by the Allied troops, who confiscate all his goods and put him in a camp for six months.’ (Quotations above from MGD, 1992)

After the war he had a studio at the Haus Vort, near Leichlingen, and continued painting. 1977: became honorary member of the Deutsche Akademie für Bildung und Kultur. Died 19 August 1984 in Leichlingen (Rheinland).

Writings about

  • Ernst Adolf Dreyer, Werner Peiner, Hamburg: Sieben Stäbe, 1936
  • Curt Carl Eberlein, Werner Peiner (exh. cat.), Berlin: Staatsministerium, 1938
  • die neue linie, July 1942, pp. 20-21
  • Vollmer, 1956 (with extensive bibliography)
  • J. Himmelreich (intro.), Werner Peiner (exh. cat.), Leichlingen, 1956 (includes brief biography)
  • MGD, 1992 (includes bibliography)
  • Anja Hesse, Malerei des Nationalsozialismus. Der Maler Werner Peiner, Hildesheim: Olms, 1995
  • Munzinger Archiv [QUERY]
  • Saur, 2000
  • Benezit, 2006 (includes auction records 1984-2004).
  • Deutsche Biographische Enzyklopädie, Munich, London, New Providence: K.G. Saur 1995- (from 1997: Munich only)., 1998


  • Academy of Fine Arts, Berlin, 1938
  • Leichlingen, 1956
  • Marco Gallery, Bonn, 1974.


  • Dr Hanns Simon Stiftung , Bitburg.