Lovis Corinth Germany
7-21-1858 Kaliningrad, GER – 7-17-1925 Zandvoort, NEDBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Lovis Corinth was born Franz Heinrich Louis Prussia. The son of a tanner, he displayed a talent for drawing as a child, and in 1876 he went to study painting in the academy of Königsberg. In 1880 he attended the Academy of Fine Art in Munich, which rivaled Paris as the avant-garde art center in Europe at the time. There he was influenced by Courbet and the Barbizon school, through their interpretation by the Munich artists Wilhelm Leibl and Wilhelm Trübner. Louis then traveled to Antwerp and then Paris where he studied under William-Adolphe Bouguereau at the Académie Julian. He returned to Königsberg in 1888 when he adopted the name "Lovis Corinth".
In 1891, Corinth returned to Munich, but in 1892 he abandoned the Munich Academy and joined the Munich Secession. These nine years in Munich were not his most productive, and he was perhaps better known for his ability to drink large amounts of red wine and champagne.
Lovis Corinth moved to Berlin in 1900, and had a one-man exhibition at a gallery. In 1902 at the age of 43, he opened a school of painting for women and married his first student, Charlotte Berend, some 20 years his junior. Charlotte was his youthful muse, his spiritual partner, and the mother of his two children. She had a profound influence on him, and family life became a major theme in his art.
In December 1911, he suffered a stroke, and was partially paralyzed on his left side. Thereafter he walked with a limp, and his hands displayed a chronic tremor. With the help of his wife, within a year he was painting again with his right hand.
The landscapes he created between 1919 and 1925 are perhaps the most desirable images of his entire graphic oeuvre. He painted numerous self-portraits, and made a habit of painting one every year on his birthday as a means of self-examination. In many of his self-portraits Lovis Corinth assumed guises such as an armored knight (The Victor, 1910), or Samson (The Blinded Samson, 1912).
In 1910 Lovis Corinth had donated the painting Golgatha for the altar of the church of his birthplace, Tapiau. At the end of the Second World War, when the Red Army invaded East Prussia, this painting disappeared without trace. Tapiau was among the few East Prussian places not devastated by the war, which makes it likely that the painting was looted rather than destroyed.
In 2007, the German city of Hanover returned the painting Romische Campagna (Roman Landscape) to the heirs of Jewish collector Curt Glaser who sold it in 1933 to fund his escape from the Nazis.
Influences: William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Gustave Courbet
Traveled: France, Belgium, Netherlands