Max Liebermann (1847-1935)
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Max Liebermann was a German painter born in Berlin. One of the leaders of the German Impressionist movement, Liebermann painted scenes of country folk and landscapes. Originally a student of law and philosophy, Liebermann eventually went to Weimar to study art in 1869. From there he went to study in Paris in 1872 and in Holland in 1866. He spent some time in Munich, but eventually returned to his hometown of Berlin.
Once back in Berlin, Liebermann made a name for himself as a prominent portrait painter. Some critics have likened his portraiture to the style of Edouard Manet, and his landscapes and bourgeois scenes are true to French Impressionist style. He had a great deal of interest in French Impressionism, and accrued an impressive collection of paintings himself.
Liebermann had a few wealthy patrons during his lifetime, such as the Comte Doria, as well as an influential art dealer. Nonetheless, he died suddenly and in relative poverty in 1892. He typically signed his work "S. Liebermann" and rarely painted anything other than cityscapes and landscapes, though a figure study or still life would be a rare find.
Although the body of his work is rooted in traditional style, he was a leader in the German avant-garde movement the Berliner Succession. In 1920, he was also appointed president of the Prussian Academy of the Arts. Sadly, the rise of Nazi power forced Liebermann to quit exhibiting there all together and leave this position in 1932, due to the fact that he was Jewish.
Liebermann died in 1935 of natural causes, thankfully escaping the ensuing persecution that would have come during World War II. Today his work is housed all over Europe, and perhaps in your own home. Still wondering about an Impressionistic German painting hanging in your home? Contact us, it could be by Max Liebermann.