Van Gogh •
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Max Liebermann, the foremost artist of the German school of Impressionists, was born in Berlin.
He studied art with Eduart Holbein and Karl Steffeck between 1839 and 1869, and then at Berlin's Weimar School of Art between 1860 and 1872. He then left Germany to study and work in Amsterdam and Paris, where he was influenced by the painting of the Dutchman Frans Hals and the French artists Jean Millet, Degas and Edouard Manet. The Impressionists in Paris had a profound effect on Liebermann. After returning to Germany, along with several like-minded artists, he founded "Die Gruppe XI" as a protest against the closing of an avant garde exhibition in Munich. During the 1890's he became increasingly interested in the work being done in Paris by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists and, in 1898, along with his compatriot Lovis Corinth, was one of the founding members of the Berlin Secession Movement, a forum and showcase for German artists who wished to break away from traditional academic confines.
Liebermann's painting continued to be Impressionistic in style throughout the remainder of his career. In time his significance as an innovator was eclipsed by the work of the young Expressionists. Liebermann's painting is marked by an emphasis on light and color, with bright hues, and highlights applied in loose, sketchy brushstrokes that create a flickering atmospheric effect. After 1914, he became concerned with the Wannsee District of Berlin, where he lived. He died in this neighborhood in 1935, thankfully not living long enough to see his work purged from German museums by the Nazi regime shortly after his death.