Kirchner Marcella 1910

Artistic Movements, Periods and Styles in 5 Points

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  • Movement that was born in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century, it coincided with French Fauvism. They differed in the themes, not in the techniques. In an extreme simplification we can say that the Fauves transmitted joy of life, and the German were busier with other existential matters, such as existential anguish. Both are among the first exponents of the so-called Avant-garde movements of the 20th century.
  • The artists show their subjectivity, personality and intuition in the works they create. The concept of the inner view of the artist prevails.
  • Reality is not represented as seen, but what is felt when looking at it is expressed. It is deformed according to emotions.
  • The exaggeration of color was inherited from Gauguin and Van Gogh. The latter can be considered in addition to Post-impressionist, the first Expressionist or the father of every Expressionist. Furious colors and strong contrasts help to express emotions to the fullest.
  • Many of the Expressionist works express loneliness, anguish, tragedy and pessimism, as well as the inner, spiritual search. They were product of the dehumanization and alienation humanity suffered with industrialization and its consequence: the horror of the World War which was about to start.


Representative artists: Nolde, Pechstein, Kirchner, Heckel, Schmidt-Rottluff, Marianne von Werefkin, Kandinsky, Marc, Kokoschka, Jawlensky, Gabrielle Münter.

Fundamental groups: The Bridge (Die Brücke) and The Blue Rider (Der Blaue Reiter).


Image: Marcella (1910). Ernst Ludwig Kirchner


Recommended links:

Characteristic Elements of Expressionist Painting.

The Avant-garde Movements.

Lautrec’s Legacy.

The Scream (1893), Edvard Munch.

Primitivism in Modernity.

The Bridge and the Tools of Expressionism.

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