Julius Meier-Graefe

Julius Meier-Graefe

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Title: Julius Meier-Graefe.

Author : CORINTH Lovis (1858 - 1935)

Creation date : 1914

Date shown: 1914

Dimensions: Height 90.4 - Width 70.4

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas.

Storage place: Orsay Museum website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - H. Lewandowskisite web

Picture reference: 08-501316 / RF1977-109

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - H. Lewandowski

Publication date: February 2010

Historical context

Intellectual life in Berlin at the turn of the 20th centurye century

Born in 1858 and 1867 respectively, Lovis Corinth and Julius Meier-Graefe are two eminent figures in Berlin's artistic and intellectual life, attentive to international news. From 1894, the young critic Meier-Graefe thus directed Pan, an art and literature review influenced by Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Ibsen and supporting both the French Impressionists and the Jugendstil, the Germanic version of Art Nouveau. Meier-Graefe and Corinth came together in the late 10s, with the execution of this portrait, then in 1919 with the publication by the critic of a collection of prints by the painter, Antike Legenden.

Image Analysis

The portrait of a critic

Lovis Corinth offers an expressionist portrait of Meier-Graefe with a very sober composition and monochrome tones. The model is shown seated slightly at an angle, leaning against the back of his seat, his two hands crossed in front of him, putting a distance vis-à-vis the viewer. the stern face is slightly animated by the hint of a smile.

Corinth thus underlines the distanced position of the critic, who observes and analyzes works and ideas; the lighting focused on the character's face and head emphasizes his eminent intellectual character.


A broker of ideas between France and Germany

Julius Meier-Graefe first became known in Germany, but also in France, through his writings. Engaged in a critical fight for Impressionism with Pan, he then devoted himself with passion to the defense of Art Nouveau, with the creation of a periodical published in two versions in Munich and Paris from 1898: Dekorative Kunst / Decorative art. In 1899, Meier-Graefe even opened a gallery in Paris where he presented a group of artists emblematic of this movement, offering pride of place to the Belgian Henry Van de Velde. Around 1905, disappointed by the evolution of Art Nouveau, he turned away to turn to French painting of the mid-nineteenth century. For the quality of his theoretical thinking, he is considered one of the major art historians and critics of the early 20th century in Germany. Driven by the desire to act on the art of his time, he participated, like Lovis Corinth, in Germany's attempts at dialogue with French artists, taking advantage of the new resources offered by the artistic press. booming.

  • Art Nouveau
  • art critic
  • portrait
  • Dostoevsky (Fyodor)
  • Ibsen (Henrik)
  • Nietzsche (Friedrich)


Collective, exhibition catalog Lovis Corinth (1858-1925), between impressionism and expressionism, Paris, musée d'Orsay, April 1 - June 22, 2008, Leipzig, Museum für bildenden Künste, July 10 - October 18, 2008, Regensburg, Kunstforum Ostdeutsche Galerie, November 9, 2008 - February 15, 2009, Paris, RMN, 2008. Thomas GAEHTGENS, "Relations between the history of art and contemporary art in Germany at the time of Wölfflin and Meier-Graefe", Art review, n ° 88, 1990, p. 31-38.Catherine KRAHMER, “Meier-Graefe and Delacroix”, Art review, n ° 99, 1993, p. 60-68.Kenworth MOFFET, Meier-Graefe as art critic, Munich, Prestel-Verlag, 1973.

To cite this article

Fabienne FRAVALO, "Julius Meier-Graefe"

Video: Exposición: El Greco y la pintura moderna


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