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Biography (4/10)
Hamburg, 1924 - 1925. Shadows

In the spring of 1924, after six months in Haiti, Staude sailed back to Hamburg. The ship berthed in Genoa. For the first time he set foot on Italian soil, but he did not want to stop, did not yet want to see that country.
Instead, he spent the summer in Finkenwerder, in the sombre northern German countryside as we know it from the paintings by Paula Modersohn-Becker and the Worpswede group. There he finally met with the painter Schnegg and promptly became his pupil. 'Schnegg - a Bavarian, 48 years old - paints with blood and brush. Through him I learn what is learnable in painting. That's quite a lot.'
He spent the winter in Hamburg, among people who were to leave a mark, in the homes of the avantgarde, among the city's liveliest artistic and intellectual circles. He was a frequent guest of the Sudecks, in their home buried 'in the bewitched gardens of Fonteney,' and the Warburgs, the banking family. There, at a fancy dress party, he met Renate Moenckeberg, a young girl belonging to one of the city's most cultivated and influential families. One day, she would become his wife.
But his painting did not satisfy him at all. Then, in the spring of 1925, he took off with Schnegg and a group of young painters on his first trip to Italy.