Wilhelm Gdanietz led a difficult life but overcame the odds to become a very successful painter. At the age of two, he became deaf following a bout of scarlet fever, which led to him spending much of his childhood at a ‘deaf and dumb’ institution. During this time, he must’ve found great solace in his art as by the age of 19 he gained access to the Academy in Düsseldorf.
His style was firmly rooted in the past and he was particularly inspired by the Dutch old masters. For a while, he moved to Holland where he ran a studio in Volendam. In 1930, he retired to Düsseldorf and lived in a cottage decorated with Delft tiles and Dutch antiques.