Lovis Corinth (German, 1858–1925) was a painter and printmaker associated with the Berlin Secession group of artists, and best known for portraits, landscapes, and genre scenes that incorporate Impressionist and Expressionist influences. In 1880, he began studying at the Münchener Kunstakademie with Ludwig von Löfftz, who trained Corinth in Academic Realism. He moved to Paris in 1884 to study at the Académie Julian, where he began painting female nudes in a non-idealized, realistic manner, different from the academic tradition. In his literary paintings, Corinth depicted religious, mythological, and historical subjects with exaggerated gestures that mocked academic seriousness.

Inspired by the brushwork of Frans Hals the Elder and Rembrandt van Rijn, Corinth painted a series of slaughterhouses, using light and thick pigment to give the carcasses a sensuality reminiscent of the nude. Corinth’s style gradually moved toward Expressionism as his palette became brighter, and his paint thicker. His self-portraits illustrate this transition; early portraits reflect his training in Academic Naturalism, while later work, such as Last Self-portrait (1925), breaks down naturalistic representation with uneven brushstrokes. Corinth also collaborated on theatrical productions as a set and costume designer, and, starting in the 1890s, made engravings, lithographs, and watercolors as preparatory sketches or book illustrations. His work is currently held in collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

Timeline

1858
Born Franz Heinrich Louis Corinth in Tapiau (Gvardeysk), province of Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia
1880
Continued his studies under Franz von Defregger and later under Ludwig Löfftz, Munich, Germany
1884–1887
Studied in Paris at the Academie Julian, Paris, France
1890
Won an honorable mention at the Paris Salon, Paris, France
1891
Became a founding member of the Munich 'Sezession', Munich, Germany
1901
Opened a painting school for women in Berlin, Berlin, Germany
1911
Elected chairman of the Berlin 'Sezession', Berlin, Germany
1913
Paul Cassirer became chairman of the Berlin 'Sezession' and organized a retrospective, exhibiting 228 oil paintings
1915
Elected president of the Berlin 'Sezession', Berlin, Germany
1917
'Akademie der Künste' in Berlin awarded him the title of Professor, Berlin, Germany
1918–1919
After a summer holiday at Urfeld on Lake Walchensee, Corinth acquired a property there and began to build his own house
1925
Travelled to Amsterdam to see works by Rembrandt and Frans Hals, Amsterdam, Netherlands
1925
Died in Zandvoort, Netherlands

Exhibitions

2008
Lovis Corinth (1859-1925) Between Impressionism and Expressionism, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France (solo)
Lovis Corinth and the Birth of Modernity, Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig, Germany (solo)
2004–2005
I, Lovis Corinth. The self-portraits, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany (solo)
1996–1997
Lovis Corinth, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (solo)
1992
Lovis Corinth, Kunstforum Vienna, Vienna, Austria (solo)
Lovis Corinth, 1858-1925, National Academy of Design, New York, New York (solo)
1990
A retrospective, Galerie St. Etienne, New York, New York (solo)
1986
Die Bilder vom Walchensee. Vision und Realität, Ostdeutsche Galerie Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany (solo)
1959
Lovis Corinth, Tate Britain, London, England (solo)
1958
Lovis Corinth, 1858-1925: Anlass seines 100. Geburtstages, Kunstverein Hannover and other venues (solo)
1947
Paintings, drawings, prints, Galerie St. Etienne, New York (solo)
1939
Paintings from 1913-25, Westermann Gallery, New York (solo)
1913
Lovis Corinth: Ausstellung des Lebenswerkes, Berlin Secession, Berlin, Germany

Literature

2010
Husslein-Arco, Agnes and Stephan Koja. Lovis Corinth: A Feast of Painting (Masterpieces in Focus). USA: Prestel, 2010
1992
Albrecht, Klaus. Lovis Corinth. Germany: Te Neues Pub Group, 1992