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Lovis Corinth

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Lovis Corinth (July 21, 1858-July 17, 1925) was a German painter and printmaker whose mature work realized a synthesis of impressionism and expressionism.

Corinth was born in Tapiau (Tapiawa), Province of Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia. He studied in Paris and Munich, joined the Berlin Secession group, later succeeding Max Liebermann as the group's president. His early work was naturalistic in approach. Corinth was initially antagonistic toward the expressionist movement, but after a stroke in 1911 his style loosened and took on many expressionistic qualities. His use of color became more vibrant, and he created portraits and landscapes of extraordinary vitality and power. A self-portrait is in the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.

Corinth showed an early talent for drawing and in 1880 he attended the Munich Academy, which rivaled Paris as the avant-garde art center in Europe at the time. There he was influenced by Courbet and the Barbizon school as they were interpreted by the Munich artists Wilhelm Leibl and Wilhelm Trübner. He then traveled to Paris where he studied under William-Adolphe Bouguereau at the Académie Julian. In 1891, Corinth returned to Munich, but in 1892 he abandoned the Munich Academy and joined the very first Sezession. In 1894 he joined the Free Association, and in 1899 he participated in an exhibition organized by the Berlin Secession. These nine years in Munich were not his most productive, and he was perhaps better known for his ability to drink large amounts of red wine and champagne.

In 1900 he moved to Berlin, where he had a one-man exhibition at a gallery owned by Paul Cassirer. In 1902 at the age of 43, he opened a school of painting for women and married his first student, Charlotte Berend, some 20 years his junior. Charlotte was his youthful muse, his spiritual partner, and the mother of his two children. She had a profound influence on him, and family life became a major theme in his art.


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