An exhibit featuring the art of German Impressionists Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth and Max Slevogt is on display now through Dec. 5 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Liebermann, Corinth and Slevogt were the key developers of Impressionism in Germany. The German Impressionist Landscapes: The Art of Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth, and Max Slevogt features around 80 paintings, most of loan from German institutions, and is one of the first major exhibitions’ within the United States that has been devoted to this subject in the last 30 years. The exhibition traveled to Houston from the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Cologne.
“This is a chance for everyone to get to know different artists, with an entirely different background, confront developments in France and developing another variant of Impressionism,” said Helga Aurisch, exhibition curator.
Impressionism was a stylistic development created in France during the 1870s and 1880s. It took nearly 20 years for it to take a hold in Germany due to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to 1871, which left tensions high between the Germans and French long after the war.
“While Impressionism is considered a fundamentally French development, it naturally spread to neighboring countries, and German Impressionist Landscape Painting focuses on the greatest works by these leading German visionaries,” said Peter Marzio, MFAH director. “Liebermann, Corinth and Slevogt are rarely exhibited in the United States, as their works are generally not in American museum collections, and the MFAH exhibition will be the first time that works by the so-called ‘Triumvirate of German Impressionism’ will be shown together.”
The ‘Triumvirate of German Impressionism’ produced hundreds, if not thousands, of prints and drawings within their lifetimes. This is the reason why the exhibit also presents a works on paper section that is composed of more than 40 artworks, some of which include a handful of items from private collections which have never been on view before.
“Liebermann, Corinth, and Slevogt were prolific draftsmen and printmakers,” said Dena Woodall, MFAH assistant curator of prints and drawings. “Therefore, this exhibition of works on paper complements the exhibition of paintings by focusing on the subject of landscape, but exploring how they interpreted landscapes through other media as well, such as: chalk, ink, pencil, pastel, watercolor, etching and lithography. It shows how they document their observations of nature and explores their creative process, while providing a bridge between the painted and graphic media.”
The exhibit showcases some of the most important Impressionist paintings created during the height of the careers of Liebermann, Corinth and Slevogt, both at home and abroad. This is a collection of artworks that art lovers should not miss.
“There was a variety of expression,” said museum-goer Timothy Johnson, retail resource specialist. “Strong emotions and stories are represented in the artworks showcased at the exhibit.”
For information about the exhibit, as well as others, call the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston at 713-639-7300, or visit www.mfah.org.