Born in Leipzig September 21, 1904. Both his parents were fervent music lovers; his father, who was a doctor, also interested himself in painting. While still young, Hartung became passionately devoted to astronomy. His textbooks from the school in Dresden were covered with drawings. After his baccalauréat, he entered the University of Leipzig to study philosophy and the history of art. He took courses at the Academy of Fine Arts of Leipzig and Dresden, but from 1922 onwards his paintings are abstract. He was one of the first to reject all visible forms and all exterior representation. He visited Italy, Spain, France, Holland, Belgium, the Tyrol and the Scandinavian countries. From 1932 to 1934 he settles down in the Balearic Islands, then returns to Germany. Fleeing the Nazi régime, he settles down in Paris and exhibits at the Salon des Surindépendants until 1938. In 1939 he enlists in the French Foreign Legion, returns to France after the armistice but returns again to North Africa after having been interned in Spain. Seriously wounded in Alsace in 1944 and losing one of his legs, he is awarded French citizenship. He returns then to Paris and begins painting after an interuption of six years. Since 1946 he has taken a regular part in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and also in the Salon de Mai. His first one-man show was held at Lydia Conti's in 1947. Afterwards he exhibited at the Galerie Louis Carré and now at the Galerie de France.

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