Lindner remembered Berlin as a « fantastic city… rotten with talent … everything going on… full of decadence and meanness … lurid and marvelous. » It was Lindner’s Fun City, though he himself was not a part of any group, remaining the outsider, the nonparticipant.
In 1929, Lindner left Berlin for Munich, where he had accepted a prestigious and well-paid job as art director at the publishing house Knorr and Hirth. He married Elsbeth Schülein, a fellow student from Nuremberg. He later referred to Munich as his « second home-town. »
Lindner’s Artistic Background
« Munich was radiant, » Thomas Mann began his 1902 short story « Gladius Dei, » continuing: « Above the gay squares and white-columned temples, the classicist monuments and the baroque churches, the leaping fountains, the palaces and parks of the Residence, there stretched a sky of luminous blue silk. Well-arranged leafy vistas laced with sun and shade lay basking in the sunshine of a beautiful day in early June. »By
Lindner’s time, however, much of the radiance of the Bavarian capital had given way to blight, resulting from turbulent political and social trauma and inflation after World War I. Nevertheless, much in Munich could still furnish intellectual stimulation to a young artist, including the presence of writers such as Thomas Mann. It is undoubtedly true, as Dore Ashton wrote, that « Mann’s measured prose is very congenial to Lindner, who strives in his own pictorial language to maintain a similar sober distance from the emotionally powerful material he utilizes. » Yet when discussing the Mann brothers later, Lindner remarked with his customary dry wit: « Heinrich was the more gifted of the two; the other simply spoke better German. »
Munich had long been known as a great metropolitan center of music and art. In painting it had given rise to the Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider), a group that included Vassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc and their friends. But these older artists had flourished in Munich before World War I. By the time Lindner arrived, circumstances had apparently changed. Years later, he commented: » The myth about Munich being a city of art is absolute nonsense! The standard was always