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Lovis Frans Henrich Louis Corinth was a German painter and printmaker. His later work is known for its amalgamations of elements from both Impressionism and Expressionism. He was associated with the Berlin Secession and even became one of its Presidents.
Corinth was born in July 1858, as Franz Heinrich Louis, in Tapiau, Prussia. In his childhood, Corinth already displayed a talent for drawing. At age 16, he went to Konigsberg to study painting at the city’s academy. Initially, Corinth intended to become a history painter. However, he was dissuaded from this path by his chief instructor, Otto Gunther, a genre painter.
In 1880 Corinth went to Munich, which was a rival city to Paris, regarding its avant-garde art production in Europe at the time. There, he briefly studied under Franz von Defregger, before being accepted at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich, studying under Ludwig von Lofftz. Corinth’s early artworks were quite realistic, with keen attention to colors and values, which was heavily influenced by his teacher Lofftz. Other influences of his were the Barbizon school as well as Gustave Courbet. Lofftz would be Corinth’s teacher until 1884, except for a 2-year hiatus due to his military service.
He then traveled to Antwerp, where he admired the paintings of Rubens, before going to Paris, studying at the Academie Julian, under Tony Robert-Fleury and William-Adolph Bouguereau. In this period, Corinth’s main focus would be on developing his drawing skills, and female nude was a frequent subject. However, out of disappointment due to his recurrent failure at winning a medal the Salon, Corinth moved back to Konigsberg in 1888, when he adopted the name of “Lovis Corinth.”
In 1891, Corinth would move back to Munich, however, in the following year, he left the Munich Academy to join the Munich Secession, a group aiming to break away from the mainstream Munich Artists’ Association and what they considered as conservative policies.
In 1911, Corinth suffered a stroke and had his left side partially paralyzed. Within one year, he was already painting again, thanks to his wife’s help. By the late1910s, Corinth was creating several woodcut prints and etchings, as well as almost every other printmaking technique apart from aquatint. He also created several landscapes surrounding Walchen Lake. This series became a significant part of Corinth’s oeuvre.
Between 1915 and 1925, the artist served as the Berlin Secession President. In March 1921, he became an honorary doctor by the University of Konigsberg.