Ludwig Meidner (18 April 1884 – 14 May 1966) was a German expressionist painter and printmaker born in Bernstadt, Silesia. He was apprenticed to a stonemason, but the apprenticeship was not completed. He studied at the Royal School of Art in Breslau and, from 1906 to 1907 at the Académie Julian and Cormon Academies in Paris where he met and became friends with Amedeo Modigliani. He returned to Berlin to work as a fashion illustrator and produced views of Berlin. In 1912 he began a series of paintings that marked a radical departure in style and would make his reputation. The "Apocalyptic Landscapes"are thought by some to anticipate the First World War. The series, produced rapidly in a hectic heatwave, are sometimes considered some of the purest "expressionist" works; in them, comets cross the sky like canon shells, fires rage, men scream and flee for their lives, buildings totter on the edge of collapse. Meidner would, however, never repeat the intensity and creativity of the apocalyptic landscapes. After the First World War he turned to producing religious paintings including a long and repetitive series of portraits of "prophets". He was an habitual self portraitist producing a series of Rembrandt inspired self-portraits. His portraits from 1915 to the end of the 1920s are a gallery of the leading expressionist and Dada writers and poets. Meidner himself increasingly turned to writing—he produced several books of dense expressionist prose and contributed to many newspaper articles.In order to escape antisemitic repressions he moved to Cologne where he became an art teacher at Yawneh Jewish School in 1935. In 1939 he fled with his family to England (his wife Else Meidner was also an artist) where he was interned as an enemy alien on the Isle of Man. He stayed in England, unrecognised, hovering on the brink of poverty until 1953 when he returned to Germany. Although the years in exile were a period of hardship and disappointment, he created an extensive oeuvre of very original works during this time. Among those are drawings and watercolors on religious subjects, humoristic scenes and a cycle on the holocaust.In 1963 he had his first major exhibition since 1918 in Recklinghausen and Berlin. He died on 14 May 1966 in Darmstadt, aged 82. Meidner's artistic bequest is now part of the collections of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt.
Information from Wikipedia, made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License
German artist. Comment on works: Portraits
Artist, Teacher, Writer, Graphic Artist, Painter
Ludwig Meidner, Ludwig Baruch Meidner, l. meidner, l. meider, Meidner
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to