OF VISUAL ART
For details of art movements
and styles, see: History of Art.
For the chronology and dates
of key events in the evolution
of visual arts around the world
see: History of Art Timeline.
For a list of the Top 10 painters/
sculptors: Best Artists of All
For a list of masterpieces in
oils, watercolours, acrylics,
see: Greatest Modern Paintings.
Certain exponents of Post-Impressionism
were key forerunners of Expressionism. They included:
Van Gogh (1853-1890)
All his paintings are autobiographical. Emotional colours and brushwork.
Distorted form and colour to convey inner feelings. See his unique style
of gestural expressionism at the Van
Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and at the Kroller-Muller Museum in Otterlo.
Expert in the emotional use of colour
in painting; but more Symbolist than Expressionist. Developed Synthetism
and helped to develop Cloisonnism.
Neurotic Norwegian painter, emotionally scarred in early life. Most of
his greatest works were completed before his nervous breakdown in 1908.
Began as a Worpswede painter of sentimental rural scenes before developing
her unique primitivist style of expressionist painting, notably portraiture.
Swiss symbolist painter often seen as a precursor of expressionist art.
painters were united by a desire to make colour an all-important theme
of their painting. Fauvism was highly influential
on other expressionist schools.
Leader of "Les Fauves". Separated colour from its traditional
references and thus liberated its expressive force.
Used wide brush-strokes and a beautiful range of blues, greens and purples.
Le Havre artist with loose, highly coloured style. Fauvism was his peak.
Produced small-scale works with harmonious colour and lyrical qualities.
de Vlaminck (1876-1958)
Emotional, created great "fizz" from subtle mixes of red, blue,
Kees van Dongen
Dutch-born painter active in France. Specialized in nudes and female portraits.
Combined clarity of line with vivid colour.
Noted for a more subtle form of expressionism, verging on Impressionism.
Produced some beautiful colourful still lifes and nudes, as well as landscapes.
Demonstrated great interest in the organization of forms.
Brucke (Bridge) (1905-13) Dresden
Pre-war group of German expressionist painters
who shared a common studio in Dresden. Its painting was based on flat,
linear, rhythmical expression, together with simple form and colour. Strongly
influenced by Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and Munch.
Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
Leader of Die Brucke, a group inspired by Gauguin, Munch, Van Gogh
and Primitive art. Like fauvism but more violently expressive.
One of the harshest of the German Expressionists. Deeply affected by Negro
sculpture. Founder of Die Brucke along with Kirchner and Heckel.
Noted also for his woodcuts, which are amongst the most outstanding examples
of expressionist graphic art.
German painter and graphic artist (woodcuts), noted for his expressionist
Member of Die Brucke, also associated with Der Blaue Reiter.
Founder of the revolutionary Neue Sezession. Ultimately a solitary artist.
Silesian-born painter, close friend of Heckel, noted for his characteristic
female nudes in landscape settings.
Member of Die Brucke, had a raw, unsophisticated style, combined
with a highly expressive use of colour and paint.
Blaue Reiter (Blue Rider) (1911-14) Munich
Pre-war Munich-based group of German expressionist
painters, with a fondness for horses, the colour blue, primitivism and
the psychological effects of colour.
Russian artist, his early work was related to fauvism and the French Nabis.
Icon-painting and Russian folk art were influences. Co-founder of Der
Blaue Reiter, Munich 1911. With Jawlensky, was a founder member of
the Neue Kunstlervereinigung Munchen (New Artists Association of
Russian painter, who, apart from Kandinsky, was the finest artist of the
group. He combined elements of Russian icon painting and peasant art with
the strong colours and outlines of the fauves to create a distinctive,
mystical expressionism. Though he retained his typical Russian melancholy.
German expressionist painter, a founder of Der Blaue Reiter. Explored
expressive values of colour, partly inspired by Delaunay's Orphism.
Member of Der Blaue Reiter, particularly noted for his colourist
German engraver and painter, Kandinsky's lover. Moved from Impressionism
to Expressionism under the influence of Jawlensky and Van Gogh.
German painter, trained at Dusseldorf Academy and under the Impressionist
(later Expressionist) Lovis
Corinth (1858-1925). Founder member of Der Blaue Reiter
with Kandinsky and Marc. Like Klee, his colouristic style was influenced
by Delaunay and a trip to Tunis.
Heinrich Campendonk (1889-1957)
Dutch expressionist invited to Upper Bavaria by Macke; took part in the
first Blaue Reiter exhibition in 1911. His fair-tale style was also influenced
strongly by Marc Chagall (1887-1985).
Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) (1920s)
A post-war style of German expressionist
painting which was detailed, highly realistic, often grotesque satires,
often conveying disillusionment with 'official' values.
Fascinated by ugliness, Dix exposed the immorality and corruption of Weimar
Germany with bitingly satirical paintings.
Painter and graphic artist. Founder member of Berlin Dada,
and part of Die Neue Sachlichkeit. Renowned for his pen-and-ink
drawings satirizing the war-profiteers and corrupt officials during
and after World War I.
Christian Schad (1894-1982)
Member of Zurich Dada, noted for his photograms or Schadographs (Tristan
Tzara). Specialized in chillingly decadent portraits and nudes.
German painter, lithographer, woodcut artist; his early expressionist
distortion gave way to a cold objectivity. Saw the city as the mirror
of a trivial, petty and deeply decadent society. Noted for his expressionist
Conrad Felixmuller (1897-1977)
Eclectic, politically motivated expressionist, who enjoyed unmasking his
subjects to show the reality beneath.
Rudolph Schlichter (1890-1955)
Joined Berlin Dada, then New Objectivity. Noted for his depictions of
Berlin street life and Bohemian subcultures, including portraits, sensual
violence and fetishes.
Albert Carel Willink (1900-83)
Dutch painter, futurist then expressionist. Noted for his New Objectivity
portraiture, and his atmospheric subject paintings.
Lesser figures included: Heinrich Davringhausen
(1894-1970) and Anton Raderscheidt (1892-1970) both of whom eventually
turned to abstract art; Alexander Kanoldt (1881-1939); and Georg
Painters in France - Ecole de Paris (Paris
Czech artist, member of Ecole de Paris; one of the first painters
to produce abstract expressionist colourism; strong influence on Robert
Delaunay and Orphism.
Painter, stained glass artist, printmaker with a unique expressionist
style. Avoiding the bright colours and typical subjects of the fauves,
he chose instead to illustrate his hatred of cruelty and degradation by
painting singular often outcast figures like clowns and prostitutes, using
sombre but glowing colours. Explored all paint media, including gouache,
watercolours and oils, as well as aquatints, ceramics, tapestry and stained
In effect, a lifelong expressionist across all media.
Short-lived expressionist genius, famous for his primitive African-style
shapes, exquisite nudes and perceptive portraiture.
Long-lived, prolific, highly versatile Russian Jewish artist. Like Picasso,
he was a compulsive expressionist across almost all media.
Jewish-Russian expressionist painter, sometimes melancholic, sometimes
intensely expressive and colourful. Closer to other isolated artists like
Nolde and Kokoschka.
Viennese expressionist painter and loner, noted for his intense landscapes
and original portraits. His tortuous lines and disintegrating forms lend
his works a scary quality.
Virtuoso draughtsman, specialized in powerful drawings and paintings of
scrawny nudes, in pencil, gouache, watercolours and oils.
Constant Permeke (1886-1952)
Noted for his paintings of fishermen, peasants and the rural landscape,
which exude an emotional expressiveness alongside a monumental simplicity
Gustave de Smet (1877-1943)
Noted for his rural scenes painted in a manner similar to child art, sometimes
with a sense of unreality reminiscent of Chagall.
Expressionist artists from Eastern Europe
included: the Czech painter and graphic artist Emil Filla (1882-1953),
noted for his still lifes and Cubist-Expressionism; Bela Czobel
(1883-1976) leader of the Hungarian avant-garde artist group known as
The Eight; and the Polish Formist Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (1885-1939).
Although there was no 'official' expressionist
movement in Russia, several Russian painters produced expressionist compositions
and a number also exhibited with German and/or French artist groups in
Munich, Berlin and Paris. As well as Kandinsky, leading Russian 'expressionists'
included: David Burlyuk
(1882-1967), Natalia Goncharova
(1881-1962), and Mikhail
Larionov (1881-1964) - better known as the inventor of Rayonism.