* 17 November 1904 in Berlin; † 3 October 1964 in Sant’Angelo (Ischia)
Compared to other painters, Werner Heldt’s success in expressing the public mood in Berlin after the Second World War is almost unparalleled. Berlin and her architecture are his central themes. From 1923 to 1930, Heldt attends the college of arts and crafts and the academy of fine arts. Despite the painter’s health problems, 1930 is for him a year of the most prolific phases. After the seizure of power by the National Socialists, the painter, in the spring of 1933, emigrates to Majorca. However, the political situation in Spain forces Heldt to return to Germany in 1936. He is able to move into a studio-cum-living room of the studio community Klosterstraße, where freelance painters and sculptors work. Here, he makes friends with Werner Gilles and Herbert Tucholski.
In 1937, the Galerie Gurlitt shows works by Heldt. The outbreak of the Second World war is seen by him as a personal disaster, too. In 1940, he is called up to serve in anti-aircraft defense. In 1945, he returns from a British prisoner-of-war camp to East Berlin. The post-war years are marked by dearth, illness, strokes of fate, but also by successful work. In March 1946, the artist has a presentation at the Galerie Rosen, together with works by Paul Dierkes. From 1947 on he, more and more
frequently, uses a motif well-known in the art of the early 20th century: the combination of still life and landscape, as view through an open window. Moving to West Berlin in the spring of 1948 is followed by a period of high productivity and frequent participation in exhibitions. In 1950, Heldt is presented with the Berlin Art Award. In the summer of 1954, during a visit to Werner Gilles at Ischia, he dies of a stroke.
After 1945, Heldt has a great number of national and international exhibitions. Posthumously, works by him are shown at the Great Art Exhibition Munich, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in London, the Berlinische Galerie., and others. Works by Werner Heldt are to be found in major German museums and private collections.