Born in Krefeld, Heinrich Campendonk was a student of Johan Thorn Prikker (1868–1932), at the Handwerker- und Kunstgewerbeschule (School for Artisans and Craftworkers) in the same city. From 1910, he was in contact with August Macke (1887–1914) and, as a result, also with the artists of the new union known as Der Blaue Reiter (‘The Blue Rider’), including Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky. In 1911, he moved to Sindelsdorf in Upper Bavaria and already in that year took part in exhibitions of the new Munich Group. In the immediate vicinity of his new home was the mining town of Penzberg, many scenes from which Campendonk translated into pictures. Since 1994, Penzburg has been home to a City Museum the main emphasis of which is on works by Campendonk.
The artist also took part in exhibitions in the Berlin gallery called Der Sturm (‘The Storm’) and contributed to the 1912 Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne. In 1916, he moved to Seehaupt on Lake Starnberg, and in 1918 became a member of the November Group in Berlin. 1926 saw Campendonk appointed professor of wall-painting, stained glass, mosaic and tapestry weaving at the Kunstakademie (Academy of Arts) in Düsseldorf, but in 1934 he was removed from post for being a ‘degenerate artist’. He went into exile in Amsterdam, where he taught at the Rijks-Akademie (State Academy), and never returned to Germany.
His Passion Window dates from 1937 and was his contribution to the world fair in Paris. The work was awarded a grand prix. The original is in the Instituut Collectie Nederland (The Netherlands Institute for Cultural Heritage), and there are four posthumous versions.