Max Peiffer Watenphul was a “lyric poet of painting” (Sabine Fehlemann). He stands in a tradition of German painters for whom the Italian landscape represented Arcadia: Adam Elsheimer, Johann Friedrich Overbeck, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, and Hans von Marées.
Alongside southern landscapes, such as Venice, Ischia, Positano, and Corfu, the painter was particularly attached to Salzburg, which he depicted in a series of paintings. His many still lifes of flowers occupy an equally important place in his oeuvre.
The friends of the erstwhile student at the Bauhaus included Alexej von Jawlensky, Kurt Schwitters, Otto Dix, Oskar Schlemmer, Wassily Kandinsky, Oskar Kokoschka, and Hans Purrmann, as well as Stefan Zweig, Jean Cocteau, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Peggy Guggenheim. Max Peiffer Watenphul was in contact with his contemporaries Paul Klee, Johannes Itten, and Walter Gropius.
His extensive body of work encompasses, in addition to oil paintings, watercolors, drawings, enamel, textiles, graphic art, and photographs.
An overview of his complete work is provided by the catalogue raisonné.