Munich School (visual arts)

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As Munich school one is painting style of the Munich painting of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century called. It originated in the context of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and soon gained great importance in academic painting .


Karl Raupp: The curious dachshund, sunbeams in the forest

King Ludwig I , who ruled since 1825, promoted art on the one hand through museums and on the other hand also by promoting contemporary art, which made Munich one of the world's most important centers of painting between 1850 and 1914. This unusually strong cultural commitment is interpreted as a compensation for the country's low economic and military importance. There was no comparable public funding in either Berlin or Düsseldorf. At the same time, art criticism managed to win an audience across Germany, and in some cases political criticism was also exercised through art criticism. King Ludwig I endeavored to promote art outside of the country's borders, for example German artists in Rome by placing appropriate orders.

The Nazarene Peter von Cornelius and Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld previously worked at the academy . With the appointment of Karl von Piloty as the new director, the academic level was perfected on the one hand, but also tailored to the dynastic preferences on the other. This point in time is considered to be the start of the Munich School. One of Ludwig I's concerns was to re-establish fresco painting. After Peter von Cornelius had created the frescoes in the Hofgarten arcades, the Munich School gained greater international attention and significance for the first time. The repertoire of painting initially comprised primarily history painting , later also genre and landscape painting as well as portraits and depictions of animals. In 1843 the Neue Pinakothek was opened, in which works from the Munich School were also exhibited. At the latest since the World Exhibition in Paris in 1867 , the Munich School had taken over the management of art development and replaced the Düsseldorf School of Painting .

A considerable number of artists made considerable fortunes. A significant proportion of the works of art were sold abroad, especially in the USA. The artist Tini Rupprecht (1868-?) Only painted in a fast pastel technique, refused five times more orders than she accepted and still made a seven-figure sum. The new copyright law contributed to the prosperity of some artists. Numerous works were disseminated through lithographs and engravings. With the beginning of the First World War, the sales figures on the art market collapsed, which led to the artistic decline of the Munich School.

Well-known representatives

Classification, environment and response

The Munich school was characterized by accuracy and naturalism in the representation. Typical genres were landscape, history and portrait painting. An objectification was cultivated in history painting, which freed this genre from the effects and exaggerated pathos of the 17th century.

In addition to the academy, numerous art schools emerged, including those of Heinrich Knirr and Anton Ažbe . In 1914 there were nearly sixty art schools in the city. Another reason was that women were not allowed in the academy. The Munich Artists' Association was founded in 1882 . Another reason was that, unlike in the other large cities, attempts were made to keep the number of students at the academy low. Many artists were organized in the Munich Artists' Cooperative, some later split off and founded the Munich Secession . The great importance for art in Germany is evident not least from the fact that almost all of the following avant-garde studied at the academy, including Lovis Corinth, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Ernst Oppler and Franz Marc. However, these also accompanied the end of academic painting and the Munich School as a stylistic delimitation.

The Munich School as a European Art Direction

In addition to Paris, Munich was one of two places to study art with an international dimension: Almost every European painting has influences from the Munich school. Even though there were only a few hundred foreign students in total, they were often among the most important artists in their home countries.

Johan Christoffer Boklund, who studied in Munich, established its principles at the Royal Swedish Academy of Art . A significant number of Poles and Lithuanians also decided to study in Munich. Realism enriched by Impressionist freedoms made Munich a model for Lithuanian painting. The New Bulgarian Painting also goes back to Munich models. American representatives of the Munich School included Frank Duveneck and William Merritt Chase as well as John Henry Twachtman and Walter Shirlaw.

The interaction between the Munich School and Greece was particularly lasting: Nikiforos Lytras and Nikolaos Gysis studied at the academy in the mid-19th century; Karl Rottmann, Peter von Hess, Karl Krazeisen and Ludwig Thiersch, for example, had long stays or teaching activities in the kingdom before that Greece , when it was ruled by Otto from Wittelsbach. Mostly from the Cyclades and with scholarships from local merchants, a generation of Greek students moved to Munich. Some later taught at the academy as professors, others turned away from academic painting and helped found the Munich Secession . The Munich School (Scholi tou Monachou) generally refers to academic painting in Greece in the 19th and early 20th centuries, both from Germany and Greece.


New Pinakothek in Munich

For a long time, the Munich School was completely equated with historicism and its importance for European painting and the German avant-garde was forgotten for a variety of reasons, in some cases the work of individual protagonists was torn out of context. In 1979 the exhibition Die Münchner Schule: 1850-1914 of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen was shown, in 2008 the exhibition Before the Alps: Painting of the Munich School . Works from the Munich School can be found in numerous art collections. Today, however, the number of works on the art market is rather small, so that even smaller works by unknown artists in the area fetch high four-digit amounts at auctions.

Web links

Commons : Münchner Schule  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Frank Büttner on:
  2. Frank Büttner on: p. 13
  3. Richard Muther: History of Painting in the Nineteenth Century , p. 270, 2013
  5. ^ Meyers Konversationslexikon, Leipzig and Vienna 1885-1892, Volume 11: Luzula - Nathanael , p. 158
  6. ^ Author collective, u. a. Helmut Bräuer, Robby Joachim Götze, Steffen Winkler and Wolf-Dieter Röber : "The Schönburger, economy, politics, culture". Brochure for the special exhibition of the same name 1990-91 in the museum and art collection Schloss Hinterglauchau, Glauchau 1990, chap. Art p. 90 (regarding painting by Tini Rupprecht)
  7. Deutsche Vierteljahrsschrift, Edition 7, p. 293 1839
  8. Wolfgang Menzel: History of the Germans up to the newest days , p. 1064, 1837
  10. Birgit Jooss : The digital edition of the matriculation books of the Academy of Fine Arts , pp. 6–7
  13. Archived copy ( Memento from December 14, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Dobrinowa-Bauer, Snegi: On the trail of Munich painting. Nikola Michailow and the New Bulgarian Painting
  14. Severens 1995, p. 98
  15. Bettina Beckert: Lovesick after the stepmother. The painting of the Munich School is sought again . ,, July 2, 2010