Max Liebermann (July 20, 1847 in Berlin - February 8, 1935) was a German painter and printmaker in etching and lithography.
The son of a Jewish businessman from Berlin, Liebermann first studied law and philosophy, but later studied painting and drawing in Weimar in 1869, in Paris in 1872, and in Holland in 1876-77. After living and working for some time in Munich, he finally returned to Berlin in 1884, where he remained for the rest of his life.
Together with Lovis Corinth and Max Slevogt, Liebermann became an exponent of German Impressionism. He used his own inherited wealth to assemble an impressive collection of French Impressionist works. He later chose scenes of the bourgeoisie, as well as aspects of his garden near Lake Wannsee, as motifs for his paintings. In Berlin, he became a famous painter of portraits; his work is especially close in spirit to Edouard Manet.
1899 to 1911 he led the premier avant-garde formation in Germany, the Berliner Secession. Beginning in 1920 he was president of the Prussian academy of arts. In 1933 he resigned when the academy decided to no longer exhibit works by Jewish artists. While watching the Nazis march through the Brandenburg Gate celebrating the takeover of Adolf Hitler, Liebermann was reported to have commented: "Ich kann gar nicht so viel fressen, wie ich kotzen möchte," translated as "I could not eat as much as I would like to vomit."
On 30 April 2006, the Max Liebermann Society opened a permanent museum in the Liebermann family's house in Berlin-Wansee. The artist's wife, Martha Liebermann, was forced to sell the building in 1940. In 1943 she committed suicide in the family home, Haus Liebermann, hours before police came to arrest her.