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Max Raphael by Max Pechstein (c. 1910).
© 2019 Pechstein Hamburg / Tökendorf.
Digital image © (2019) The Museum of Modern Art/Scala, Florence.

This website commemorates the work of the German art historian and philosopher Max Raphael (1889-1952). Maintained by a small group of editors, the Max Raphael Project aims to open up Max Raphael's writings to an English-speaking audience for purposes of research and education. The presented texts are subject to change and new material is constantly being added. Please feel free to contact one of the editors in case you find any errors or would like to contribute to the development of the project.

News & updates

Marksizam u svetu

Cover of Marksizam u svetu, No. 3, 1982. From Memory of the World.

Milovan Novaković has kindly provided a scan of a Serbo-Croatian translation of Zur Kunsttheorie des dialektischen Materialismus published in the journal Marksizam u svetu (1982). See the primary bibliography.

Raphael's 1913 Picasso lecture in Munich

Announcements of Raphael's 1913 lecture in the Münchner neueste Nachrichten (l) and depicted on a photograph by Picasso (r).

On February 19 1913 Max Raphael gave a lecture on Picasso in Munich, using (for the last time?) his pseudonym R.M. Schoenlank. Independently of each other two researchers located announcements of the event in different sources: Cécile Godefroy in a photographic composition by Picasso and Nicholas Sawicki in the Münchner neueste Nachrichten.

The lecture was organised in connection with the first major Picasso retrospective at Thannhauser's Moderne Galerie at the Acropalais. View a scan of the catalogue from Heidelberg University.

Folio 5 of Raphael's autobiography mentions a 1913 lecture on Picasso in Münich; the same year saw the publication of Raphael's first book Von Monet zu Picasso by Delphin Verlag in the same city. Read more about this period in Patrick Healy's article Raphaels ‘erste Epoche’.


Raphael in the public domain!

Covers of some of the books that have been added.

Since the beginning of 2023, Max Raphael's work belongs to the public domain. To celebrate this, the following books have been made available as PDFs in the primary bibliography.

  • Der Dorische Tempel (1930)
  • Proudhon, Marx, Picasso (1933)
  • Zur Erkenntnistheorie der konkreten Dialektik (1934)
  • La Théorie Marxiste de la connaissance (1938)
  • Theorie des geistigen Schaffens auf marxistischer Grundlage (1974)
  • Arbeiter, Kunst und Künstler (1975, both Fischer and VEB editions)
  • Für eine demokratische Architektur (1976)
  • Werkausgabe (11 volumes, 1989)
  • Prähistorische Höhlenmalerei (1993)


L'art pariétal paléolithique

Figure 9: Analysis of a cave drawing of reindeer from Les Combarelles.

Thanks to Mr Jean-Paul Simon, a full scan of Trois essais sur la signification de l'art pariétal paléolithique (1986) has been added to the primary bibliography, the french translation of Prehistoric Cave Paintings (1945), with contributions by Patrick Brault, Claude Schaefer and Jean-Paul Simon.


Davoser Revue

Covers of the Davoser Revue containing articles by Max Raphael

The still existing Davoser Revue has kindly provided scans of seven articles published by Raphael in this magazine between 1927-31. Raphael first visited Davos in 1927, where he gave lectures and taught courses in art history in the city's town hall. The scans can be found in the primary bibliography.

In the captivating text Erinnerungen um Picasso, zu dessen 50. Geburtstag, published in 1931, Raphael looks back at his visits to Picasso's studios in 1911, and his attendance to Picasso's first large German show at the Cologne Sonderbundes in 1912. For more context, please consult Patrick Healy's essay Raphaels erste Epoche.

Two editions exist of Raphael's 1930 review of Le Corbusier's Gesamtwerk 1910-1929. The first was published in Davoser Revue and the second, more elaborate version, in the Hamburg magazine Der Kreis. In 2005, both texts were reprinted in Massilia together with a French translation and afterword by Josep Quetglas. All have been added to the bibliography with links to digital editions.


Bollingen Series

Title pages of the three volumes of the Bollingen Series.

In addition to the digital edition of Prehistoric Pottery and Civilization in Egypt (1947) scans have been found online of Prehistoric Cave Paintings (1945) and The Demands of Art (1968), all published by the Bollingen Foundation and translated by Norbert Guterman. They can be found in the primary bibliography.


Additions to bibliography

Cover, designed by Picasso, and table of contents of the first issue of Minotaure (1933).

Mr. Gernot Grube has kindly shared additions to the primary and secondary bibliographies. In addition, he has made available his editorial afterword to Die Hand an der Wand (2013), titled Raphaels Ikonographie jungpaläolithischer Kunst.

New digital editions have been added, such as Raphael's articles in the first issue of Minotaure (1933) and Prehistoric Pottery and Civilization in Egypt (1947), which has appeared on

If you'd like to see a precise overview of all changes, please consult this page on GitHub documenting the changes of the source files.


Translation: Von Monet zu Picasso

Cover of De Monet à Picasso (2019).

A French translation was published of Von Monet zu Picasso, see De Monet à Picasso. It was translated by Françoise Delahaye and published by Klincksieck.

In addition, the bibliography of secondary sources was updated with additional articles by Françoise Delahaye, including one published in the latest number of Études Germaniques and titled "Max Raphael, de Von Monet zu Picasso à Wie will ein Kunstwerk gesehen sein? Esquisse d’une théorie normative de l’art". We thank Ms. Delahaye for pointing us to these articles.

24-05-2019, updated: 07-06-2019

Conference: Marxism(s) in Art Historiography

The following conference was brought to our attention: Marxism(s) in Art Historiography, Berlin, 31 Jan - 2 Feb 2020. The proposed period is 1945-today, which means that contributions on Max Raphael could focus on the reception of his work in the postwar period.


Essay: Raphaels Hand-Annäherungen

Cover of Groupe scolaire de l'Avenue Karl Marx á Villejuif (1933).
  • Some cover images have been added to the primary bibliography. In addition, a full scan of the publication Groupe scolaire de l'Avenue Karl Marx á Villejuif (1933), has been added, for which Raphael wrote the introduction. It was scanned at the library of The New Institute in Rotterdam.
  • A PDF of Werner Drewes essay Raphaels Hand-Annäherungen from Prähistorische Höhlenmalerei (1993) has been added to the bibliography of secondary sources. With many thanks to Mr. Drewes for allowing us to republish the essay.


New articles

Two articles published in recent years have been added to the bibliography of secondary sources:

Both can be accessed online.


Translation: Von Monet zu Picasso

Title page and table of contents of Von Monet zu Picasso

An English working translation of Von Monet zu Picasso by Patrick Healy et al has been added to the resources section.


Digital edition: Der Cicerone

Pages of Der Cicerone


Additional sources

Added archival sources and secondary sources to the bibliography.


Source: Prähistorische Höhlenmalerei

Thanks to Mr Werner Drewes, the following publication has been added to the bibliography:

Prähistorische Höhlenmalerei, Aufsätze, Briefe (Köln/Saignelégier: Bruckner & Thünker Verlag, 1993). Edited by Werner E. Drewes.

The book contains the original German typescript of Prehistoric Cave Paintings together with a selection of letters of Raphael from 1943-52 concerning the genesis of the work and addressed to Claude Schaefer, Emmy Jülich and Alis Guggenheim. It also includes an essay by Mr Drewes titled ‘Raphaels Hand-Annäherungen’.


Max Raphael’s Parisian address

Carnet d'adresses de Pablo Picasso (around 1914)
Musée National Picasso-Paris, 515AP/A/3

Mr Yves Brocard kindly pointed us to a digitised address book of Pablo Picasso containing Max Raphael’s 1911/12 address in Paris: 11 Place du Panthéon. The address book can be consulted online here:

Carnet d'adresses de Pablo Picasso

(There’s some discussion about the exact number: the entry from the notebook could also be read as 17. However, a 1912 open letter by Raphael (written under the pseudonym M.R. Schönlank) titled Lieber Herr Pechstein! is headed with the address ‘Paris, Place du Panthéon 11’.)


Essay: Cézanne in the critical work of Max Raphael

Added Patrick Healy's essay Cézanne in the critical work of Max Raphael.


Transcription: Autobiography

Added transcription of Max Raphael's (Auto)biography.


Recent publications

The Invention of Expressionism