At the outbreak of World War I, in 1914, the bold colors and jagged angles of Expressionism found a new purpose. Many of the Expressionists were initially in favor of the war, believing it would lead to the overthrow of middle-class society and its pervasive materialism and cultural restrictions. As the artists enlisted or were drafted, their firsthand experience of the war shattered this optimism and drove many to mental breakdowns. These artist soldiers began creating works that reflected their battered minds and bodies, and gave viewers insight into the nightmarish world of the front lines.

Works

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