A German painter, printmaker, draughtsman and sculptor, Baselitz was born in Deutschbaselitz, Saxony in 1938. He studied painting in East Berlin at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in 1956, but was expelled after only one term. He moved to West Berlin in 1956 and took a surname that would reflect his birthplace. In 1957, he attended the Hochschule der Bidenden Künste in West Berlin, where he completed studies in 1961 as a post- graduate student under Hann Trier.
Baselitz held his first one-man exhibition in 1961 and his works are included in many major European and American museum collections.