German Expressionism

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Lovis Corinth

German, 1858–1925

Starr Figura, German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 2011

Painter, printmaker, draftsman. After eleven years of academic training in Königsberg, Munich, and Paris, settled in Berlin in 1901. Quickly became a leading figure of the Berlin Secession, an exhibiting society that favored the German style of Impressionism, and gained representation from Paul Cassirer’s gallery. More than a generation older than the Expressionists, his long, prolific, and highly successful career extends from the academic tradition of the late nineteenth century to German Impressionism and finally Expressionism. Although he criticized the Expressionists for being influenced by foreign strains like French Fauvism and “primitive” art, after a stroke in 1911 his naturalistic style yielded to a frenetically expressive treatment of favored subjects such as nudes, historical and literary themes, and self-portraits, the latter of which meditated increasingly on own mortality.

Made 1,200 prints, including many in portfolios and illustrated books. First tried printmaking in 1890s as a way to improve his draftsmanship, but made most of his prints near the end of his career during the postwar economic crisis, when it became it a more marketable medium. Made only eleven woodcuts; favored lithography and the fuzzy, burr-rich lines of drypoint. Worked with many publishers, including Paul Cassirer, and after 1920 closely collaborated with Verlag Fritz Gurlitt.

Declaring them degenerate, Nazis removed 295 works from public collections.

Selected Bibliography

Müller, Heinrich. Die späte Graphik von Lovis Corinth/Lovis Corinth: The Late Graphic Work, 1913–1925. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, 1994.

Schuster, Peter-Klaus, Christoph Vitali, and Barbara Butts, eds. Lovis Corinth. Exh. cat., St. Louis Art Museum and Tate Gallery, London. Munich: Prestel, 1996.

Schwarz, Karl. Das graphische Werk von Lovis Corinth/The Graphic Work of Lovis Corinth. San Francisco: Alan Wofsy Fine Arts, San Francisco, 1985.

Heather Hess

Printed by Lovis Corinth

  • Lovis Corinth. Resurrection (Auferstehung). (1925)
    Lovis Corinth
    Resurrection (Auferstehung)
    Lovis Corinth. Resurrection (Auferstehung). (1925)
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