German Expressionism Die Brncke 1905-1910
German Expressionism art arose in the early years of the twentieth century in Dresden, Berlin and Munich, as much a state of mind as a type of visual art. The young artists who gathered in various German cities were profoundly critical of the bourgeois materialism of modern life. They were more interested in man's spiritual condition and a harmonious relationship between people and their environment. These early twentieth century German artists were less interested in resemblance of their work to the subject matter than artistic vision, They wished to penetrate appearances in order to perceive the inner essence of things (Uhr 10).
The purpose of this paper is to explore and define German Expressionism, the Die Brncke period, focusing on the artists Emile Nolde, Karl Schmidt Rottluff, and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. The discussion will include styles of the artists, influences on their work and the politics of the time that inspired Die Brncke. This paper includes an exploration of the relationship of the artists to each other and the responses of critics to their work.
The term "expressionism" and the idea of self-expression in art originated in France, probably with Gustave Moreau who taught at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1892 to 1898. Matisse was his student. During the first ten years of the twentieth century, Matisse stressed with his own students the concept of
expressionism, that results should be based on one's own temperament and interpretation of nature (Ibid. 10).
Generally speaking, the term Expressionism is understood to designate a period of German culture spanning the years from 1905 to 1933, although by 1920 a reaction against it had begun. Most Expressionists pursued the same general goals, although each artist developed according to local and personal conditions. Northern German artists tended to be more rugged and individualistic. The Dresden artists...