German Painting

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The Annunciation by Martin Schongauer.

German Painting had its roots in Paris, the intellectual centre of Europe, and Italy. Konrad Witz (c. 1400 - before 1447), Martin Schongauer (c. 1450 - 1491), Matthias Grünewald (c. 1470 - 1528), Hans Holbein the Elder, a Northern Renaissance Painter, (ca. 1465 - 1524) and his son Hans Holbein the Younger (1497 - 1543), created outstanding examples of German painting, but it was Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528), who became the founder of the German Renaissance. The course of German painting ran parallel to that of the Italian Renaissance. [1]

The Danube School of German Painting (1500 - 1550) was a group of German and Austrian artists. In the early 16th century, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Albrecht Altdorfer, and Wolfgang Huber, painted landscapes of the Danube area.

Altdorfer Danubian Landscape.jpg

View of the Danube Valley near Regensburg by Albrecht Altdorfer.

The centre of south German painting had by the late 1730s shifted from Munich to Augsburg in Swabia, where Johann Georg Bermüller became the director of the Academy in 1730; but his frescoes, as well as those of Franz Joseph Spiegler and Gottfried Bernhard Goetz, are perhaps more representative of the Late Baroque than the Rococo. [2]

Cain or Hitler in Hell by George Grosz, 1944.

The Nazarene movement was a group of early 19th century Romantic painters; they were against Neoclassicism, seeking for old honesty and spiritual values of the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance; honesty and spirituality of Christian painting shown in their works of Religious subjects. They also made a revival of the medieval fresco painting.

Ernst Kirchner (1880 – 1938) was one of the leaders of "Die Brücke", a Dresden group of Expressionist painters founded in 1905. Max Ernst (1891 - 1976) was a Dadaist/Surrealist Painter; in Cologne, together with Alfred Grünwald (1892-1927), he founded a group of Dadaists. In the late 1920s Ernst turned to the beloved motifs of German Romanticism and revived them in a new, Surrealistic, manner. [3] Gabriele Münter (1877-1962) followed the style of Wassily Kandinsky (a Russian-born French Expressionist Painter). George Grosz (1893 – 1959) was a prominent member of the "Berlin Dada", an "anti-art" movement.

The Leipzig and Dresden Schools are among the latest generations of German painters. Figurative art that was deprecated as hopelessly passé in Paris and Düsseldorf never lost its grip in Leipzig. The city prided itself on being the birthplace of Max Beckmann and on a painterly lineage begot by Lucas Cranach. [4] Dresden has been a leading center of German art since the 1700s.

See also

St. Anne Church in Graupen, Böhmen by Adrian Ludwig Richter.
Max Ernst, Colorado of the Medusa.


  1. German Painting XIV-XVI CENTURIES
  2. Johann-Georg-Bermuller
  3. Max Ernst Olga's Gallery.
  4. The New Leipzig School

Berliner Strassenszene by Ernst Kirchner
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe by Joseph Karl Stieler