German Expressionism

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Marées-Gesellschaft, R. Piper & Co., Munich

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

Bibliophile and art society founded in 1917 as a collaboration between influential art historian and critic Julius Meier-Graefe and avant-garde publisher Reinhard Piper, named after the now largely forgotten German realist painter Hans von Marées (1837–1887), whom Meier-Graefe revered. As special imprint of Piper, issued lavishly produced illustrated books and portfolios. Program reflected Meier-Graefe's taste, which was rooted in a love for French Impressionism and literary classics. Major portfolios included Max Beckmann's Faces (1919) and Annual Fair (1922) and Lovis Corinth's Classical Legends (1919), as well as the group portfolios Shakespeare Visions (1918), with thirty-two prints by various artists, including Beckmann, Corinth, and Oskar Kokoschka, and Rembrandt: Religious Legends (1920), with prints by Beckmann and others. Between 1919 and 1925 issued five volumes of the yearbook Ganymed (named after von Marées's last painting, The Abduction of Ganymede [1887]), with features on art, music, and literature, as well as original prints by various artists. The society folded in 1929, and Meier-Graefe, who left Germany for France in 1930, was later denigrated by the Nazis for promoting "degenerate art."

Iris Schmeisser

Printed by Marées-Gesellschaft, R. Piper & Co., Munich

  • Max Beckmann. Spring (Frühling) from  Faces (Gesichter). (1918, published 1919)
    Max Beckmann
    Spring (Frühling) from Faces...
    (1918, published 1919)
    Max Beckmann. Spring (Frühling) from  Faces (Gesichter). (1918, published 1919)
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