Lovis Corinth was born Franz Heinrich Louis Prussia. He had a talent for drawing as a child, and at eighteen he went to study painting at the Academy of Königsberg. In 1880 he attended the Academy of Fine Art in Munich, which equaled Paris as the avant-garde art center in Europe at the time. There he was influenced the Munich artists Wilhelm Leibl and Wilhelm Trübner who were themselves influenced by Courbet and the Barbizon school. Louis then set out to Antwerp and then to Paris where he studied with William-Adolphe Bouguereau at the Académie Julian. Upon his return to Königsberg in 1888 when he adopted the French sounding 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 better known as a drinker, able 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 an art school for women and married Charlotte Berend, 20 years his junior which was his first student. Charlotte was his youthful dream, his spiritual partner, he had two kids with her. She had a big influence on him, and the party life ended and family life became a major subject in his art.
In December 1911, he endured a stroke and was partially paralyzed on his left side. From there on he walked with a limp, and his hands displayed a chronic tremor and he could not use his left hand. With the assistance of his wife, inside a year, he was painting with his right hand.
The landscapes he made between 1919 and 1925 are the most attractive oil paintings of his entire career in a painting style which was a combination of Impressionism and Expressionism. He painted numerous self-portraits and painted one of himself every birthday. In many of his self-portraits, Lovis Corinth assumed different guises serious subjects like The Blinded Samson and playful portraits as in Self-Portrait with his Wife and a Glass of Champagne. One self-portrait painted in 1911 as a knight, Self Portrait As Standard Bearer, could have been the inspiration for Hubert Lanzinger who designed the famous poster of Hitler in armor on horseback with the Nazi flag in 1935. But, during the Third Reich, Corinth's work was condemned by the Nazis as degenerate art.
In 1910 Lovis Corinth had donated the painting Golgatha for the altar of the church of his birthplace. At the end of the Second World War, when the Soviet Army attacked East Prussia, this painting vanished.
In 2007, the German city of Hanover returned the painting Romische Campagna (Roman Landscape) to the beneficiaries of the Jewish art collector Curt Glaser who sold it in 1933 to finance his escape from the Nazis.
Art Movement: Expressionism.
Artists Influencing Lovis Corinth: William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Gustave Courbet.
He Traveled To France, Belgium, Netherlands.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.