* 12 November 1899 in Gittersee near Dresden; † 14 November 1962 in Dresden
Wilhelm Lachnit is one of the major representatives of the Dresden art in the 20th century, in particular of the New Realism.
In 1921, after an apprenticeship, he starts to study at the Dresden art academy and passes his studies in 1923 with distinction, as a master-class student of Richard Dreher. Then he works as a freelance painter. His artistic role model is Otto Dix, who is later to become his friend. In 1925 he becomes a member of the German Communist Party and founds the “News Group”, together with Hans Grundig, Fritz Skade and Otto Griebel. In 1929 he is a co-founder of the Dresden local branch of the association of revolutionary German artists (ASSO). Under the Nazi regime, Lachnit is arrested in 1933. His art is labelled “degenerate”. During the air raid on Dresden the bulk of his oeuvre is destroyed. After World War II, the painter continues as a representative of Classical Modern Art. In 1946 he exhibits seven works at the General German Art Exhibition in Dresden. In his home town he is in 1947 given a professorship at the college of fine arts. Among his students there are the painters Manfred Böttcher, Harald Metzkes and Strawalde. During the formalism – realism discussion in the GDR Lachnit is exposed to slander. As a result he feels compelled to give up his teaching job in 1954.