Klaus Niethardt was born in Friedrichroda, Thuringia, in 1928. In 1952 he moved to Leipzig, where he worked in a machine-building plant. Later he became a stage painter. He painted the work “Justitia” on the Berlin Wall.
Niethardt’s Wall painting “Justitia” depicts the Roman goddess Justitia alongside the great German minds Schiller, Goethe, and Einstein. Symbolising justice and the administration of the law, Justitia is traditionally depicted wearing a blindfold as a sign of her neutrality. In Niethardt’s painting, however, her eyes are uncovered. Rather than holding a sword, she is shown holding her hand protectively over a dove of peace.
Niethardt moved to Leipzig in 1952 to work in the Kirow machine-building plant. He joined the works’ drawing circle, a group of amateur artists, to receive artistic instruction and practice art. Later he became a stage painter. He became known across the country for his painting on the Berlin Wall. He died in 2005.