For I have represented them, I have taken their place and put on their semblance through my visions. It is the psyche which speaks.
OSKAR KOKOSCHKA, 1912
|'Bride of the Wind', oil on canvas |
painting by Oskar Kokoschka
The most important native precursor of Expressionism in Germany was Paula Modersohn-Becker who based herself in the artists' colony at Worpswede, in Bremen,Germany. Her reading of Nietzsche, her friendship with the poet Rainer Maria Rilke and her encounters with the work of the French Post-Impressionists all effected her and she abondened the visions of Worpswede and used colors symbolically.
"the principal thing is my personal vision" she stressed in her journal in 1902.
|Self-portrait Pregnant, 1906, |
The new art was promoted in Berlin by the writer and composer Herwarth Walden. Works by Oskar Kokoschka were exhibited in there in 1912. By Walden's help Berlin became an important centre of the international avant-garde in the years preceding World-War-I.
Another important Expressionist was the Frenchman Georges Rouault who began his artistic career as an aprentice to a maker of modern stained glass who also restored medieval stain-glassed windows. At the same time he took evening classes at the Ecole dés Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and later studied with Henri Matisse under Gustave Moreau.
|Nolde masks, 1911|
|A painting by Georges Rouault|