Wilhelm Leibl

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Leibl, Wilhelm


Born Oct. 23,1844, in Cologne; died Dec. 4, 1900, in Wurzburg. German painter.

Between 1864 and 1869, Leibl studied at the Academy of Arts in Munich under K. von Piloty. In 1869 and 1870 he was in Paris, where he was influenced by G. Courbet. Leibl subsequently headed a group of Munich realist artists; beginning in 1873 he worked in villages in Upper Bavaria.

One of the major 19th-century realist painters, Leibi primarily painted portraits and scenes from the everyday life of the patriarchal Bavarian peasantry. He strove not so much to depict activity as to re-create full and vivid characters in an extremely lifelike, bold, and sculptural manner. Leibl’s early works, such as Portrait of Szineyei-Merse (1869, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest), The Courtesan (1870, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne), and The Old Herr Pallenberg (1871, Wallraf-Richartz Museum), reflect the influence of French realist painting. Leibl later drew upon the heritage of German Renaissance art, as seen in his Three Women in Church (1878–82, Kunsthalle, Hamburg). Leibl’s last works, marked by a free, soft technique and filled with air and light, are close to impressionism (for example, The Spinner, 1892, Museum of Fine Arts, Leipzig).


Rompler, K. Wilhelm LeibL Dresden, 1955.
Langer, A. Wilhelm LeibL Leipzig, 1961.
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Let's look again at one of his portraits, albeit an atypical one: Wilhelm Leibl painting, 2002, is a black-and-white shot of a nineteenth-century oil painting by the eponymous artist, in which a boy sits on a chair looking somewhat anxious, as if he were about to slide off it.
"Paula's Heroes" introduces artists she admired--the Wilhelm Leibl circle, the Neu-Dachau group around Adolf Hoelzel, the symbolists Arnold Bocklin and Max Klinger, the Barbizon school, as well as Gustave Courbet, Charles Cottet and Auguste Rodin.
The gallery's program will soon gaze backward again, as Tillmans is planning an exhibition of the work of German painter Wilhelm Leibl, a contemporary and acquaintance of Gustave Courbet; Tillmans describes Leibl's paintings as a form of "realism that is political." As each exhibition leaves a trace on this space, Between Bridges promises to take on the complexity of Tillmans's own practice, embracing the abstract and the representational, the contemporary and the historical, the social and the individual.