Brücke, Die

Brücke, Die

[Ger.,=the bridge], German expressionist art movement, lasting from 1905 to 1913. Influenced by the art of Jugendstil (the German equivalent of art nouveauart nouveau
, decorative-art movement centered in Western Europe. It began in the 1880s as a reaction against the historical emphasis of mid-19th-century art, but did not survive World War I.
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), Van Gogh, and the primitive sculpture of Africa and the South Seas, the Brücke group developed an art of fervent emotionalism. Founded in Dresden by KirchnerKirchner, Ernst Ludwig
, 1880–1938, German expressionist painter and graphic artist. He studied art in Munich and was greatly impressed by the neoimpressionists. Kirchner studied Oceanic and other primitive sculpture at the Dresden Museum of Ethnology in 1904.
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, Schmidt-RottluffSchmidt-Rottluff, Karl
, 1884–1976, German painter and woodcut artist. Schmidt-Rottluff cofounded and named the Brücke in 1905. After moving to Berlin in 1911, he developed an art of compelling color and mystical intensity influenced by fauvism, cubism, and primitive
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, and HeckelHeckel, Erich
, 1883–1970, German painter. In 1905, Heckel, together with Kirchner and Schmidt-Rottluff, founded the Brücke in Dresden. His paintings of this period (e.g., Scene in a Forest, 1913; Wallraf-Richartz Mus.
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, the group invited NoldeNolde, Emil
, 1867–1956, German expressionist painter and graphic artist. His original name was Emil Hansen. After teaching in Switzerland (1892–98), Nolde traveled through Europe and in 1906 joined the Brücke group of German expressionists.
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 and PechsteinPechstein, Max
, 1881–1955, German expressionist painter and graphic artist. Early contact with the art of Van Gogh stimulated his development toward expressionism. In 1906, Pechstein joined the Brücke group.
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 to join in 1906 and Otto Müller in 1910. They lived and worked communally, periodically issuing portfolios of their graphic art, which at first bore a rather communal style. By 1911 most of them had gone to Berlin. In their exhibitions they displayed boldly colored portraits, landscapes, and city themes. Their expressionistic art was essentially a reaction against a perceived superficiality of impressionismimpressionism,
in painting, late-19th-century French school that was generally characterized by the attempt to depict transitory visual impressions, often painted directly from nature, and by the use of pure, broken color to achieve brilliance and luminosity.
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 and realismrealism,
in art, the movement of the mid-19th cent. formed in reaction against the severely academic production of the French school. Realist painters sought to portray what they saw without idealizing it, choosing their subjects from the commonplaces of everyday life.
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. The members fell out in 1913 over a statement of their aims formulated by Kirchner.

Bibliography

See catalog ed. by R. Heller (2009).

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