Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lovis Corinth

Lovis Corinth (1858-1925)
Samson Blinded , 1912.
Oil on canvas, 130 × 105 cm,
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, National-Galerie

Lovis Corinth (1858-1925)
The Red Christ , 1922.
Oil on wood, 135.7 × 107.7 cm,
Staatsgalerie moderner Kunst, Munich

Lovis Corinth (1858-1925)
Ecce Homo , 1925.
Oil on canvas, 190.5 × 150.0 cm,
Kunstsammlung Basel, Kunstmuseum

Lovis Corinth (1858-1925) is one of the greatest German artists of the late 19th century and the early modern period but still relatively little known outside of Germany.

He is considered one of the important precursors to German Expressionism

He painted scenes of mythology, religion, landscape and urban environments.

Fron 1884-7 he was in Paris and was a pupil of Bouguereau at the Academie Julian in Paris. There he became influenced by Rembrandt, Hals and Rubens.

He suffered partial paralysis as the result of a stroke in 1911. Just before the stroke, he had been producing some of his greatest work and on a prodigious scale. The stroke felled him at a high point.

Several months after his stroke in December 1911, Corinth portrayed himself as Samson blinded, a painting where biblical and autobiographical themes meet.

His later work became more agitated and expressionistic, with frenzied brushstrokes.

His artistic development moved from Academic Naturalism to Expressionism through a period of Impressionism.

His Ecce homo (1925) is famous. It shows, from the perspective of the crowd, Jesus, a soldier and Pilate dressed as a physician. Like The Red Christ, it is a portrayal of suffering and the degradation of humans through violence and war. As a result of the First World War, such depictions of the Passion became more numerous but did not have the unanimous approval of the ecclesiastical authorities at the time.