date of birth: 1844
place of birth: Hamburg
date of death: 1915
death: Prien am Chiemsee
Hugo Kauffmann was born in 1844, in Hamburg, as the son of the genre painter Hermann Kauffmann. In 1861 he went to Frankfurt am Main, where he was trained as a painter at the Städel Art Institute of Jakob Becker. Then he lived in the painters colony of Kronberg im Taunus and spent some time studying in Düsseldorf with Anton Zwerger and in Paris. Here he occupied himself intensively with Courbet and Manet, before returning to Germany at the beginning of the 1870s. At first he settled in Munich and in the following year he joined the circle of artists called "Bears and Lions", who worked at Prien am Chiemsee during the summer months. This group also included Carl Buchner, Wilhelm Marc, Felix Schlesinger and Julius Noev.
With regard to the topics of his works, Kauffmann had a preference for Upper Bavarian everyday scenes. His accurate reproduction of the physiognomies, the gestures and signs of the characters depicted in his paintings lend vitality, wit, and authenticity to his narrative pictures.
Kauffmanns painting technique reached its peak by illustrating small-scale representations depicting the lives of ordinary people. His technique was not only influenced by Dutch genre painting, but also influenced by Franz von Defregger and the Munich School. In addition to these genre images, Kauffmann also produced numerous satirical graphics.
Kauffmann was already internationally successful during his lifetime. The demand for his paintings that were often sold directly to the US through the art trade in Munich could hardly be met. Kauffmann died in December 1915. His grave is located in the old part of the Waldfriedhof cemetery, in Munich.