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Claus Friedrich Bergen (* 18. April 1885 in Stuttgart; † 4. Oktober 1964 in Lenggries/Oberbayern)
German illustrator, marine and landscape painter, who recorded German navy actions in the two World Wars. The son of the artist Fritz Bergen, he trained at the Royal Academy in Munich under Karl von Marr. He began his career as illustrator of Karl May’s Winnetou and travel stories and in 1910 his illustrations were exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Brussels. He travelled extensively to Norway, England, the Mediterranean and America, exhibiting and furthering his training. Appointed Marine Painter to Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1914, he made numerous dramatic paintings of U-boats and their crews. ‘The Liner Columbus at New York’ (National Maritime Museum, London) is a work painted in the United States in 1924, while ‘The Admiral von Scheer Bombarding the Spanish Coast’ (1937, Navy Memorial Museum, Washington) records German action in the Spanish Civil War. As a member of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (NSDAP) he worked mostly on large-scale official commissions which ceased with the war. Throughout his career he also painted smaller pictures showing sailing boats, fishing villages, harbour and coastal views, including those of Polperro in Cornwall. In 1963 he presented the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, with ‘The Atlantic’ and the British Admiralty with the painting of Nelson’s flagship Victory.
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