<h1>Herbert Tobias (1924–1982)</h1>
<h1>Herbert Tobias (1924–1982)</h1>
<h1>Herbert Tobias (1924–1982)</h1>

Herbert Tobias (1924–1982) was the enfant terrible among the German photographers of the post-war period; In the fifties, he made a name for himself with glamorous fashion shots, becoming a star photographer within a very short time – and yet he always remained a non-conformist. In the mid sixties, he consciously abandoned this shining career. His name was forgotten, but his pictures remain well-known: portraits of the young Klaus Kinski, the singer Nico and Andreas Baader, shots of the ruined city of Berlin, seductive fashion photos, and erotic photographs of men. In 1982, when Tobias died in poverty at the age of 57, he left behind a multifaceted oeuvre that evades stylistic categorisation.


Herbert Tobias was a remarkable photographer, but an artist above all else. He used photography as an outlet for his desires and obsessions. His concern was not to fix visible reality using the camera, but to convey inner images and existential feelings, or to touch them in the viewer. The intensity with which Tobias staged the world and gave expression to his feeling for life stili comes across, even today. It lends his photographs an immediacy that is still tangible; a presence capable of transcending time.


The artistic estate of Herbert Tobias is among the most important materials held by the Photographic Collection of the Berlinische Galerie. With around 150 exhibits, the artist’s impressive work will be presented in all its variety for the first time: beginning with the photographs Tobias took as a 19-year old soldier on the eastern front, including images from Paris and from his work in the Berlin years, and leading up to the erotic photographs of men that – in varying intensity – appear in all periods of his work.

Exhibition is organised by Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne, Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur and is presented with Galerie Rudolfinum.

Curator: Ulrich Domröse


The retrospective traces the salient moods and attitudes that defined Tobias’ view of the world. On the one hand, his pictures are characterised by low-key, fanciful notes, by melancholy and longing. Yet we also experience the photographer as a choreographer of great performances, a narrator of mysterious tales or a designer of existential, dramatic tableaux. In addition to this, Tobias consistently appears as a homosexual artist: in his images of men – the centraI theme of his entire oeuvre – he emerges as a master of erotically charged looks and poetic sensuality. In the prudish Adenauer era, when homosexuality was still punishable by law, he was also making a political statement in this way.

Tuesday-Sunday 10:00-18:00

Galerie Rudolfinum Club

Buy membership

Thursday 10:00-20:00


Alšovo nábřeží 12
110 00 Prague 1 

Monday closed

How to reach us?

Map and other information