Lovis Corinth (July 21, 1858 – July 17, 1925) was a German painter and printmaker whose mature work realized a synthesis of impressionism and expressionism.
Corinth was born in Tapiau (Gvardeysk), Province of Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia. He studied in Paris and Munich, joined the Berlin Secession group, later succeeding Max Liebermann as the group's president. His early work was naturalistic in approach. Corinth was initially antagonistic toward the expressionist movement, but after a stroke in 1911 his style loosened and took on many expressionistic qualities. His use of color became more vibrant, and he created portraits and landscapes of extraordinary vitality and power. A self-portrait is in the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
Corinth showed an early talent for drawing and in 1880 he attended the Munich Academy, which rivaled Paris as the avant-garde art center in Europe at the time. There he was influenced by Courbet and the Barbizon school as they were interpreted by the Munich artists Wilhelm Leibl and Wilhelm Trübner. He then traveled to Paris where he studied under William-Adolphe Bouguereau at the Académie Julian. In 1891, Corinth returned to Munich, but in 1892 he abandoned the Munich Academy and joined the very first Sezession. In 1894 he joined the Free Association, and in 1899 he participated in an exhibition organized by the Berlin 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.
In 1900 Corinth moved to Berlin, where he had a one-man exhibition at a gallery owned by Paul Cassirer. 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 1911 he suffered a stroke, and was partially paralyzed on his left side. With the help of his wife, within a year he was painting again with his right hand. It was at this time that landscapes became a significant part of his oeuvre. From 1915-1925, he served as President of the Berlin Secession. In 1925, he traveled to the Netherlands to view the works of his favorite Dutch masters. He caught pneumonia and died in Zandvoort.
Corinth explored every print technique except aquatint; he favored drypoint and lithography. He created his first etching in 1891 and his first lithograph in 1894. In 1919, he experimented with the woodcut medium but only made 11. Corinth was quite prolific, and in the last fifteen years of his life he produced more than 900 graphic works, including 60 self-portraits. The landscapes he created between 1919 and 1925 are perhaps the most desirable images of his entire graphic oeuvre.