Leo Putz was sixteen when he entered the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. His father, who was convinced of his son’s extraordinary artistic gift, sent him to the Académie Julian in Paris. After military service, Leo Putz returned to Munich and opened his first studio in 1897, the same year he became a member of the Munich Secession.
Leo Putz’s art ranged from Art Nouveau, Impressionism and the beginnings of Expressionism. His subjects were figures, nudes and landscapes. He also worked as a commercial artist, creating Art Nouveau posters and billboards for the Moderne Galerie München.
In 1931, he traveled to Brazil, accepting a professorship at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes. His art was influenced by the tropical plant life and vibrant colours he encountered when he traveled on mule back to remote areas in search of new insights for his artistic journey.
Back in Germany in 1933, he encountered a new reality. An opponent of National Socialism, his art was labeled as “degenerate.” In 1936, he was repeatedly interrogated by the Gestapo and was officially banned in 1937 from officially working in Germany. He fled to South Tyrol and focused on painting castles, villages and gentle landscapes.