Max Liebermann

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Max Liebermann, 1904
Liebermann autograph.png

Max Liebermann (born July 20, 1847 in Berlin ; died February 8, 1935 there ) was a German painter and graphic artist . He is one of the most important representatives of German impressionism .

After training in Weimar and stays in Paris and the Netherlands, he initially created naturalistic works with a social theme. By working with the French Impressionists, he found light colors and a lively application of paint that characterize his main work since 1880. His work symbolizes the transition from 19th century art to classical modernism at the time of Wilhelminism and the Weimar Republic . He promoted this change as President of the Berlin Secession . From 1920 to 1932 he was President, then Honorary President of the Prussian Academy of the Arts . As a representative of the Republic and a Jew, he left the Academy in 1933 in view of the National Socialists' policy of harmonization . He spent the last two years of his life secluded in his hometown Berlin.

life and work


Max Liebermann at the age of 16

Max Liebermann was the son of the wealthy industrialist Louis Liebermann and his wife Philippine (née Haller). The family was of Jewish faith . His grandfather Josef Liebermann , a textile entrepreneur who founded the important Liebermann fortune, was also the grandfather of Emil Rathenau , Carl Liebermann and Willy Liebermann von Wahlendorf . Only three days after Max's birth, the law on the conditions of the Jews of July 23, 1847 came into force, which gave the Jews in Prussia greater rights. He had five siblings, including the older brother Georg Liebermann , who later became an entrepreneur, and the younger brother, the historian Felix Liebermann .

In 1851 the Liebermanns moved to Behrenstrasse , from where Max attended a nearby humanistic toddler school. Soon he hated this, like every later school.

After primary school, Liebermann switched to the Dorotheenstädtische Realschule . Max passed the time more and more by drawing, which his parents cautiously encouraged. When he was ten years old, his father Louis bought the prestigious Palais Liebermann , at Pariser Platz 7, directly to the north of the Brandenburg Gate . The family attended church services in the reform community and increasingly turned away from the more orthodox way of life of their grandfather. Although the Liebermanns' house had large salons and numerous bedrooms, the parents encouraged their three sons to sleep in a common room. This was also provided with a glass window in the wall so that the schoolwork could be supervised from outside.

When Louis Liebermann commissioned his wife to paint an oil painting in 1859, Max Liebermann accompanied his mother to the painter Antonie Volkmar . Out of boredom, he asked for a pen himself and began to draw. Even as an old woman, Antonie Volkmar was proud to have discovered Liebermann. His parents were not enthusiastic about painting, but at least in this case their son did not refuse to attend schools. On his afternoons off school, Max received private painting lessons from Eduard Holbein and Carl Steffeck .

Max Liebermann's parents

In the family that was related to other important Jewish middle-class families, Max was not considered particularly intelligent. At school, his mind often wandered, which is why he gave inappropriate answers. This resulted in teasing his classmates who became unbearable to him, so that he took refuge several times in supposed illnesses. His parents showed him love and support, but they held the image of his older, “sensible” brother Georg in particular, which only increased the feeling of being different in Max. Max's talent for drawing did not mean much to his parents: when his works were first published, the father forbade the 13-year-old to mention Liebermann's name.

As a secondary school, Louis Liebermann chose the Friedrichwerder grammar school for his sons , where the sons of Bismarck also studied. In 1862 15-year-old Max attended an event by the young socialist Ferdinand Lassalle , whose passionate ideas fascinated the millionaire's son. In 1866 Max Liebermann graduated from high school . He later claimed to have been a bad student and had difficulty with getting through the exams: in truth, he was only one of the better students in mathematics, his participation in the higher grades was considered “decent and well-behaved”. In the Abitur exams he came fourth in his class, but in his family Max always felt like a “bad student”.

Study and early work

Max Liebermann at the age of 25 as a student at the Weimar Art School

After graduating from high school, Max Liebermann enrolled at the Friedrich Wilhelm University . He chose chemistry , which his cousin Carl Liebermann was successful in. The chemistry course should only serve as a pretext to be able to devote oneself to art and leisure and at the same time to stand up to one's father. Therefore Max Liebermann never did it seriously. Instead of attending the lectures, he rode out in the zoo and painted. At Carl Steffeck, he was also allowed to perform assistant tasks more and more frequently in the design of monumental battle pictures. There he met Wilhelm Bode , who later became Liebermann's sponsor and director of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum . On January 22, 1868, the University of Berlin Liebermann exmatriculated because of "study indifference". After an intense conflict with his father, who was not impressed by his son's path, his parents made it possible for him to attend the Grand Ducal Saxon Art School in Weimar . There he became a student of the Belgian history painter Ferdinand Pauwels , who brought him closer to Rembrandt during a visit to the class in the Fridericianum in Kassel . The encounter with Rembrandt had a lasting influence on the style of the young Liebermann.

In the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 he was briefly gripped by the general patriotic frenzy. He volunteered for the Johannitern , because a badly healed broken arm prevented him from regular military service, and served as a medic during the siege of Metz . In 1870/1871 a total of 12,000 Jews went to war on the German side. The experiences on the battlefields shocked the young artist, whose enthusiasm for the war waned.

From Whitsun 1871 Max Liebermann stayed in Düsseldorf , where the influence of French art was stronger than in Berlin. There he met Mihály von Munkácsy , whose realistic depiction of women plucking wool, i.e. a simple everyday scene, aroused Liebermann's interest. Financed by his brother Georg, he traveled to the Netherlands , Amsterdam and Scheveningen for the first time , where he was enthusiastic about light, people and the landscape.

Die Gänserupferinnen : Liebermann's first large oil painting was created in 1872 under the influence of Munkácsy and Rembrandt .

His first large painting, Die Gänserupferinnen , was made in the months after his return. It shows the unpopular, prosaic activity of plucking goose in dark tones. In addition to Munkászy's naturalism, Liebermann also incorporated elements of history painting into it. At the sight of the still unfinished painting his teacher Pauwels dismissed him: he could not teach him anything more. When Liebermann took part in the Hamburg art exhibition with the picture in 1872 , his unusual subject aroused above all disgust and shock. Liebermann defied the conventions of the genre painting recognized at the time too clearly . Although the critics praised his skillful painting style, he received the image as a “painter of the ugly”. When the painting was exhibited in Berlin that same year, it met with similar opinions, but it found a buyer in the railway magnate Bethel Henry Strousberg .

At that time, Liebermann's art was considered "dirty painting" in Germany. He therefore sent his second major work, the canners , to the big annual exhibition in Antwerp , where it found two interested buyers. Liebermann had found his first style: he paints realistically and unsentimentally working people, without condescending pity or romanticism , but also without denouncing. In his motifs he recognizes the natural dignity and does not have to gloss over anything.

In 1873 Liebermann saw farmers harvesting beets at the gates of Weimar . He decided to capture this motif in oil, but when Karl Gussow cynically advised him not to paint the picture in the first place, Liebermann scratched the painting from the canvas again. He felt powerless and without drive. Liebermann decided to visit the famous history and salon painter Hans Makart in Vienna , where he stayed for only two days. Instead, he was determined to turn his back on Germany and its art scene, which Liebermann regarded as backward and outdated for the time being.

Paris, Barbizon and Amsterdam

Potato harvest in Barbizon : Liebermann oriented himself in 1874 to the Barbizon school .

In December 1873 Max Liebermann moved to Paris and set up a studio in Montmartre . In the world capital of art, he wanted to make contacts with leading realists and impressionists. But the French painters refused to have any contact with the German Liebermann. In 1874 he submitted his goose plucking to the Salon de Paris , where the picture was accepted but received negative reviews in the press, especially from a nationalist point of view. Liebermann first spent the summer of 1874 in Barbizon , near the Fontainebleau forest . "Munkácsy attracted me a lot, but Troyon , Daubigny , Corot and above all Millet did it even more ."

The Barbizon School was of great importance for the development of Impressionism: it shaped Impressionist landscape painting and enriched the currents of the time through the means of open-air painting. This caused Liebermann to turn away from the old-fashioned, heavy painting of Munkácsy. He was more interested in the methods of the Barbizon School than in the motives that influenced them: In Barbizon, for example, he remembered the Weimar study Arbeiter im Rübenfeld , looked for a similar motif and created the potato harvest in Barbizon , which he did not complete until years later . Ultimately, he tried to follow in Millet's footsteps and, in the opinion of contemporary critics, lagged behind him with his own performance: The depiction of the workers in their environment seemed unnatural; it seemed as if they were added to the landscape afterwards.

In 1875 Liebermann spent three months in Zandvoort in Holland. In Haarlem he copied extensively paintings by Frans Hals . By preoccupation with Hals' portrait painting, Liebermann hoped to influence his own style. The preoccupation with Frans Hals and his method of lively, undetailed application of paint shaped Liebermann's late work as well as the influences of the French Impressionists. It also developed into a characteristic of Liebermann to allow a lot of time to pass between the idea and the execution of larger paintings. It was only when he returned to Paris in autumn 1875 and moved into a larger studio that he took up what he had seen and created his first painting of bathing fishermen's boys; Years later he put this motif back on canvas.

Dutch sewing school : In 1876 Liebermann began to increasingly incorporate the influences of impressionism

In the summer of 1876 there was another stay of several months in the Netherlands. He continued his throat studies there. Later he found his own style, which he particularly benefited from when painting portraits. In Amsterdam he met the etcher William Unger , who brought him into contact with Jozef Israëls and the Hague School . In his picture, Dutch Sewing School , Liebermann already uses the effect of light in an impressionistic way. He got to know the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam through Professor August Allebé , which led him to a painterly analysis of his Jewish origins. The first studies of the Amsterdam orphanage were also made.

Under the pressure of being accountable to his parents and himself, Liebermann fell into deep depression in Paris, and was often close to despair. During this time only a few pictures were taken, and his multiple participation in the Paris Salon did not bring the desired success for him. The art scene in the metropolis could not give Liebermann anything, it had even rejected him as an artist on chauvinistic reasons. His paintings had not become “French”. In contrast, his regular stays in Holland had a greater influence. Liebermann made the final decision to leave Paris.


The twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple : Influences from naturalistic, old Dutch and Venetian art were combined in the masterpiece of the early Max Liebermann in 1879.
The twelve year old Jesus in the temple : sketch for the 1st version

In 1878 Liebermann went on a trip to Italy for the first time . In Venice he wanted to look at works by Vittore Carpaccio and Gentile Bellini in order to find new orientation. There he met a group of painters from Munich - among them Franz von Lenbach - with whom he stayed in Venice for three months and finally followed them to the Bavarian capital, which, along with the Munich School, was also the German center of naturalistic art.

In December 1878 Liebermann began work on The Twelve Year Old Jesus in the Temple . He had already made the first sketches for this work in the synagogues of Amsterdam and Venice. Never before has he staged a picture with a great deal of work: he combined the studies of the synagogue interiors with individual figures, of which he previously made nude studies in order to then bring them together dressed. He immersed the subject in an almost mystical light that seems to emanate from the baby Jesus as the shining center.

A wave of indignation broke out across the empire against this image. While the later Prince Regent Luitpold sided with Liebermann, the Augsburger Allgemeine wrote that the artist had painted "the ugliest, nosiest Jewish boy you can think of". In public, Max Liebermann was denigrated as a "blasphemer". The conservative MP and priest Balthasar von Daller denied him as a Jew in the Bavarian state parliament the right to depict Jesus in this way. In Berlin, the court preacher Adolf Stoecker continued the anti-Semitic debate about the painting in a hurtful way.

Max Liebermann at the age of 35

While the resistance of the church and the critics became more and more relentless, important artist colleagues took sides for the work, including Friedrich August von Kaulbach and Wilhelm Leibl . From a painterly point of view, it appears in many ways as a résumé of the young Liebermann era, of his apprenticeship years.

In response to the criticism, Liebermann painted over the picture by redesigning the young Jesus. There is a photo of the original, which shows a child, dressed in a shorter cloak, with sidelocks and a head slightly pushed forward and without sandals. The overpainted picture shows a Jesus in an upright posture with longer hair and a longer robe and sandals.

Although Liebermann was now a famous artist, painterly advances came to a standstill during his stay in Holland in 1879: The light in a view of a rural village street that was created at the time appears pale and unnatural. In 1880 he took part in the Paris Salon. The pictures that were shown there had one thing in common: the representation of peaceful people working side by side in a harmonious community. Liebermann did not find the mood shown in the surroundings of Munich, which was heated up by anti-Semitic hostility, but tried to absorb it in his annual visits to the Netherlands. In 1879 he also traveled to the Dachauer Moos , Rosenheim and the Inn Valley for painting stays , where his painting Brannenburger Biergarten was created.


Altmännerhaus in Amsterdam : Liebermann turned to Impressionist Luminarism for the first time in 1880 .

In the summer of 1880 Liebermann traveled to the Brabant village of Dongen . There studies arose that he later used for his painting Schusterwerkstatt . After completing this work, he traveled to Amsterdam one more time before returning to Munich. Something happened there that "decided his artistic career". He glanced into the garden of the Catholic old man's house, where elderly men in black were sitting on benches in the sunlight. About this moment Liebermann later said: "It was as if someone was walking on a level path and suddenly stepped on a spiral spring that snapped him up". He began to paint the motif, and for the first time used the effect of the light filtered through a canopy (or other barriers), the later so-called "Liebermann's sunspots", that is, the selective representation of (partially) self-colored light to create an atmospheric atmosphere. This already indicated Liebermann's late Impressionist work.

At the Paris Salon in 1880 he was the first German to receive an honorable mention for this work. In addition, Léon Maître , an important collector of impressionism, acquired several paintings by Liebermann. Encouraged by the longed-for success, he turned to an earlier topic: Using older studies, he composed the free period in the Amsterdam orphanage (see illustration below), also with "sunspots".

Max Liebermann: Shoemaker's workshop , 1881

In the autumn, Liebermann traveled to Dongen again to complete the shoemaker 's workshop there. In this work, too, his clear turn to light painting is manifested, but at the same time he remained true to his earlier work depictions by continuing to dispense with transfiguring-romantic elements. The shoemaker's workshop and the free period in the Amsterdam orphanage found a buyer in Jean-Baptiste Faure in the Paris Salon in 1882 . The French press celebrated him as an impressionist. The collector Ernest Hoschedé wrote enthusiastically to Édouard Manet : "If it is you, my dear Manet, who revealed the secrets of the open air to us, Liebermann knows how to eavesdrop on the light in an enclosed space."

But instead of allowing himself to be absorbed by Impressionism, Liebermann stepped back from the sphere of popular light painting and turned back to naturalism in his bleached lawn . While he was working on this painting, Vincent van Gogh tried to meet Liebermann in Zweeloo , but he did not succeed. Back from the Netherlands, he followed Countess von Maltzan's call to Militsch in Silesia , where he made his first commissioned work - a view of the village.

Return to Berlin

Anders Zorn : Portrait Martha Liebermann , 1896
The artist's wife (1898), painted by Liebermann

In 1884 Liebermann decided to return to his hometown Berlin, although he was aware that there would be inevitable conflicts. In his opinion, sooner or later Berlin would take on the role of the capital from an artistic point of view, as the largest art market was located there and he increasingly saw Munich's traditions as a burden.

In May 1884 he became engaged to the sister of his sister-in-law, Martha Marckwald, who was born in 1857 . The wedding ceremony took place on September 14th after the move from Munich to Berlin was completed. The couple lived together for the first time, In den Zelten 11, on the northern edge of the zoo . However, the honeymoon did not lead to Italy , as was usual at the time , but via Braunschweig and Wiesbaden to Scheveningen in Holland. There Jozef Israëls joined the two; together they traveled to Laren , where Liebermann met the painter Anton Mauve . Further stops on the trip were Delden , Haarlem and Amsterdam. Liebermann produced studies everywhere and gathered ideas that largely filled him up in the years that followed.

Max Liebermann at the age of 48

After his return he was accepted into the Association of Berlin Artists . Anton von Werner , his later adversary , also voted for his admission . In August 1885 Liebermann's only daughter was born, who was given the name "Marianne Henriette Käthe", but was only called Käthe. Hardly any pictures were taken during this time: he devoted himself entirely to the role of the father.

Carl and Felicie Bernstein lived across from the Liebermann family . Max Liebermann saw paintings by Édouard Manet and Edgar Degas among his exceptionally cultivated neighbors , which accompanied him throughout his life. In addition, he was able to feel as an accepted member of the Berlin artist community for the first time in their circle: Max Klinger , Adolph Menzel , Georg Brandes and Wilhelm Bode came and went there as well as Theodor Mommsen , Ernst Curtius and Alfred Lichtwark . The latter, the director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle , recognized Liebermann's Impressionist potential early on. Its entry into the Society of Friends also made it easier to achieve social acceptance in the bourgeois upper class .

After eight years of absence from Berlin, Liebermann took part in the exhibition of the Academy of the Arts again for the first time in 1886. For the exhibition he selected the paintings Freetime in the Amsterdam Orphanage , Altmannhaus in Amsterdam and The grace period . The grace of grace , which shows a Dutch peasant family praying in a gloomy, atmospheric setting, was made at the suggestion of Jozef Israël during their honeymoon. The "opinion maker" Ludwig Pietsch described Liebermann as a great talent and outstanding representative of modernism .

Flax scrub in Laren 1887; collaborative work as a recurring subject

In the summer of 1886 Martha Liebermann went to Bad Homburg vor der Höhe for a cure with her daughter , which gave her husband the opportunity to do studies in Holland. He returned to Laren, where flax was made from raw linen in peasant cottages . Impressed by the subject of the collaborative work, Liebermann began drawing sketches and painting a first version in oil. In his Berlin studio he composed the studies for a painting in larger format, on which he was able to complete work in the spring of 1887. The representation of collective work should show the "heroically patient" in everyday life.

In May 1887 the picture was exhibited at the Paris Salon, where it was received with only restrained applause. At the International Jubilee Exhibition in Munich, a critic described the painting as “the real depiction of dull infirmity caused by a monotony of hard work. […] Peasant women in worn aprons and wooden slippers, with faces that hardly show that they were young, the features of grim old age, lie in the chamber, the beams of which are oppressively weighed down, their mechanical daily work. ”Adolph Menzel, on the other hand, praised the picture and described the painter as "the only one who makes people and not models".

Max Liebermann in his studio

At this time, the art critic Emil Heilbut published a “study on naturalism and Max Liebermann”, in which he described the painter as the “bravest forerunner of the new art in Germany”. In March 1888 Kaiser Wilhelm I died , followed by Friedrich III. on the throne. With his reign there were hopes that Prussia would transform into a parliamentary monarchy , which came to an end only 99 days later with his death. Max Liebermann stayed in Bad Kösen in the spring of the three emperor year . From the death of Friedrich III. dismayed, he painted a fictional memorial service for Emperor Friedrich III. in Bad Kösen , which shows that he felt connected to the Hohenzollern monarchy despite his left-wing political views . He wanted to be a free spirit , but he was unable to reject the Prussian traditions because of his character.

Mayor Carl Friedrich Petersen 1891

In 1889 the world exhibition took place in Paris on the occasion of the centenary of the French Revolution . The monarchies of Russia , Great Britain and Austria-Hungary refused to participate because they rejected the celebration of the revolution. When the Germans Gotthardt Kuehl , Karl Koepping and Max Liebermann were appointed to the jury , this caused political explosions in Berlin. Liebermann inquired of the Prussian minister of education Gustav von Goßler , who let him do it - tantamount to unofficial support. At the same time, the newspaper La France fomented a campaign in Paris against the general participation of Prussia.

Liebermann came up with the plan to present the first guard of German painting with Menzel, Leibl, Trübner and von Uhde . The German press reproached him for serving up the idea of ​​revolution. The old Adolph Menzel took sides again for Liebermann, and the first presentation of non-official German art on French soil took place. The world exhibition finally brought Liebermann into the limelight. In Paris he was honored with a medal of honor and admission to the Société des Beaux-Arts . He only refused the accolade of the Legion of Honor out of consideration for the Prussian government.

In 1889 Liebermann traveled to Katwijk , where he took leave of the social milieu as a subject with the painting Woman with Goats . After he was able to celebrate increasing success, he found the leisure to turn to images of easier life. In 1890 Liebermann received several commissions from Hamburg, all of which could be traced back to Alfred Lichtwark: In addition to a pastel in the Kirchenallee in St. Georg , he received his first portrait commission from there. After completing the painting, which was based on Hals' painting, the sitter, Mayor Carl Friedrich Petersen , was indignant. He found the naturalness of the representation in connection with the apparently casual official dignity bestowed by historicizing clothing repugnant. In Lichtwark's eyes, the mayor's portrait remained “a failure”. Liebermann had more success with his work Woman with Goats , for which he received the Great Gold Medal in the spring of 1891 at the exhibition of the Munich Art Association.

Liebermann as head of the Berlin Secession

Palais Liebermann at Pariser Platz 7, to the right of the Brandenburg Gate

On February 5, 1892, the Association of the XI was founded in Berlin , in which eleven independent painters came together. Over the next few years, the association of the XI became the foundation for the later Secession movement , which came into opposition to the academy's conservative painting school. The Berlin Secession was first located on Kantstrasse , but in 1905 it moved to Kurfürstendamm not far from the Romanisches Café and the studio of the well-known Berlin society photographer Frieda Riess, which opened in 1917 . According to Lovis Corinth, Liebermann was "the secret leader of the anarchic 911s" shortly after it was founded. Under the influence of Wilhelm II, the reactionary tendencies in the cultural policy of the empire intensified (see also: gutter art ). The capital's art critics reacted very differently to the founding of an artists' movement that opposed the official direction. Most of them denigrated Liebermann in particular and described his style of painting as a “snuggly sufficient manner”, but hardly anyone denied his position as a leading Berlin artist.

Max Liebermann at the easel

A few months before his mother's death in September 1892, when her health deteriorated, Max Liebermann and his family moved into their parents' palace on Pariser Platz. He followed a regular daily routine with great self-discipline: at 10 a.m. he left the house to retire to his studio at Königin-Augusta-Strasse 19 and returned at 6 p.m. “In my way of life I am the perfect bourgeois; I eat, drink, sleep, go for a walk and work with the regularity of a tower clock. "

On November 5, 1892, the Association of Berlin Artists exhibited 55 paintings by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch . The critics outraged the works and called them "excesses of naturalism". An urgent application before the Court of Appeal was rejected, but a second led to the convening of a general assembly of the Berlin Artists' Association. This decided with 120 votes against 105 to close the Munch exhibition. This marked the final break between the conservative-reactionary school, whose spokesman Anton von Werner made a name for himself in this dispute, and the liberal-modernist school, one of whose most important figures was Max Liebermann. Under him, 60 outraged club members founded the Free Artists' Association on the evening of the decision .

In 1893 Liebermann traveled to Rosenheim , where he met with Johann Sperl and Wilhelm Leibl. The following year, on the occasion of an exhibition in Vienna, he received the Great Golden Medal for the woman with goats . After the death of his mother in 1892, Louis Liebermann, his father, also died in 1894. Shortly before his death, Max Liebermann had found a belated affection for him that made earlier differences recede. After the reconciliation, parting was particularly difficult for him. At the same time, with these impressions, he immersed himself more intensively in working on atmospheric paintings.

Allee in Overveen , 1895 - Liebermann found his personal expression of Impressionism from the mid-1890s.

With the death of his father, Max Liebermann became a co-heir to a fortune worth millions. The house on Pariser Platz also passed into his possession. Now it was possible for him to redesign his living space, which was unusually luxurious for an artist, according to his wishes. He commissioned the architect Hans Grisebach to build a spiral staircase to a roof studio that was yet to be built. Since the police headquarters had concerns about a paragraph in the sales contract for the building that prohibited major changes to the building structure, Liebermann decided to continue to use his studio on Königin-Augusta-Straße. The paintings from this period are impressionist in nature, such as the avenue in Overveen that was created in 1895 . Liebermann continued to draw inspiration for numerous works from his regular stays in the Netherlands.

In 1895 Max Liebermann represented Germany together with Gustav Schönleber and Fritz von Uhde at the first Venice Biennale . Liebermann turned to portrait painting for the first time and showed a pastel portrait of his friend Gerhart Hauptmann , for which he received the first prize. Liebermann also turned back to the subject of bathing boys, since he was interested in the painterly challenge of moving bodies in the open air. But instead of creating conservative paintings with classical movement compositions, as in the past, he succeeded in creating a more free representation of beach life. However, he only came to an impressionistic form of expression with this motif in later years.

Portrait of Max Liebermann by Lovis Corinth , 1899

In 1896 Hugo von Tschudi was appointed director of the National Gallery . He was open to the French Impressionists and went on a buying trip to Paris. Max Liebermann accompanied him there to advise him on the purchase decision for the Nationalgalerie. When von Tschudi decided to acquire Manet's work Im Wintergarten , Liebermann advised against it, since Berlin itself would still regard naturalism as scandalous. "What one in Paris had not been able to grasp in a generation would be difficult to implement in Germany overnight." Via Tschudi, Liebermann was also able to establish contact with Edgar Degas , whom he met in Paris. There he also received the honor of Knight of the Legion of Honor , which the Prussian Minister of Education Robert Bosse agreed to. Finally traveled Liebermann for ten days after Oxford where his brother Felix from the University of the honorary doctorate was awarded. In London he met the American painter James McNeill Whistler , whose old master-style etching style had a lasting effect on him. With the intervention of the Prussian Minister for Public Works, Karl von Thielen , the Berlin Police Headquarters allowed the construction of a roof studio in Palais Liebermann at the same time as his stay in Paris and London.

Max Liebermann in his studio on Königin-Augusta-Straße, in front of the painting Schulgang in Laren , 1898

On the occasion of his 50th birthday in 1897, the Akademie der Künste dedicated an entire exhibition room to Liebermann, in which 30 paintings, nine drawings, three lithographs and 19 etchings could be shown. After the conservative Berlin Academy experienced a fiasco with its 200th anniversary in 1892 , it slowly began to open up to modern influences. This was also shown in the award of the Great Golden Medal to Liebermann at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition . He also received the title of professor and was accepted into the academy in 1898 - even with the voice of Anton von Werner. His artistic reputation was at its peak at this time.

Nevertheless, artistic setbacks occurred during this time. Liebermann again spent the summers of 1897 and 1898 in Laren . There the weaving mill in Laren and the school course in Laren originated , in which the painter fell back on the compositional means of his early years, which he believed to have been overcome.

After the jury under Anton von Werner rejected a picture by the Berlin painter Walter Leistikow for the Great Berlin Art Exhibition in 1898, he called for the establishment of a community of independent artists. Max Liebermann was elected as president of this association of modern artists. In addition to President Liebermann and Walter Leistikow, the board of directors consisted of the artists Otto Heinrich Engel , Ludwig Dettmann , Oskar Frenzel , Curt Herrmann and Fritz Klimsch . Liebermann did not emerge as the spokesman when the Secession was founded, but only took over when he was urged to do so by his colleagues. The level of awareness of his person gave the Berlin secession movement particular public interest. Liebermann brought in the gallery owners Bruno and Paul Cassirer as secretaries .

The board of directors of the Berlin Secession in the Second Secession Exhibition in 1900. Max Liebermann 2nd from right

For the first Secession exhibition in May 1899, Liebermann was also able to attract artists from the Munich , Darmstadt and Stuttgart Secession . These were supplemented by the artists' colony Worpswede , Arnold Böcklin , Hans Thoma, Max Slevogt and Lovis Corinth . The latter exhibited in the capital for the first time. Liebermann also brought Ernst Oppler to the Berlin Secession.

As a sign of sympathy, the protagonists of the Secession portrayed each other. The portrait of the painter Lovis Corinth von Liebermann, the portrait Max Liebermann von Corinth and the portrait Ernst Oppler von Corinth bear witness to this . Lively discussions for and against the Secession flared up among the citizens of Berlin, drawing new attention to the visual arts. The success of the exhibition, which exceeded expectations with over 1,800 visitors and high sales figures, was increased even further in 1900. Under Liebermann's leadership, the Secession exhibitions grew into a European art event. Around 1900 he designed together with Corinth, Slevogt and other artists for the Cologne chocolate producer Ludwig Stollwerck Stollwerck collecting pictures a . a. for Stollwerck's collector's album No. 3 (1900) and No. IV (1900).

With the arrival of Corinth, Slevogt and Oppler, Berlin's role in the German art landscape changed considerably. While the decline of Munich accelerated, Berlin was now also taking on the position of capital in art. The academy director Anton von Werner tried with all means to slow down the rise of modern trends. He went even further than Wilhelm II did. Although he disliked the Secession, he ultimately let it go. While the academy management moved further and further away from the reality of the art landscape, the Prussian government (and especially the Minister of Education, Heinrich Konrad von Studt ) slowly began to think more freely about art. Studt endorsed Liebermann's concept for the 1904 World Exhibition in St. Louis , which suggested that the Academy and the Secession should participate equally. Von Werner rejected it with the words: "These secessionist movements have nothing to do with ideal goals and particular artistic currents, they only serve busy interests."

Country house in Hilversum , 1901. Liebermann discovers the garden depiction as a subject for a carefree impressionism.

In the summer of 1899 Liebermann stayed in Zandvoort and Scheveningen. There he further developed his paintings of bathing boys to a carefree representation of elegant beach life. The motives of the Spartan Dutch rural population took a back seat as a subject . He was looking for a world of motifs that would provide the basis for a light impressionism. Therefore, in addition to the cultivated beach life (with shadowy depictions of equestrians and women), he turned to the play of light in lush gardens. In 1901, based on the example of Édouard Manet's Landhaus in Rueil, the work Landhaus in Hilversum was created , which exudes calm and harmony through changes in shadow and light. In the summer of 1901, Liebermann visited the Amsterdam Zoo . There he discovered the parrot avenue as a theme.

Terrace of the Jacob restaurant in Nienstedten on the Elbe , 1902, Hamburger Kunsthalle
Parrot Alley , 1902

In 1902 Liebermann traveled again to Hamburg, where, at the invitation of the first director of the Hamburger Kunsthalle , Alfred Lichtwark , he stayed from July 3 to August 5, 1902 in the Hotel Jacob on Elbchaussee , which still exists today. He was supposed to paint views of the area for the “Collection of Pictures from Hamburg”. Among other things, he created the picture Polo game in Jenischs Park and one of his most famous works Terrace of the Jacob restaurant in Nienstedten on the Elbe . In 1903 Max Liebermann founded the Deutscher Künstlerbund in Weimar on the initiative of Harry Graf Kessler, together with Lovis Corinth, Alfred Lichtwark, Max Slevogt and others . In the same year he was published for the first time as a professor at the Akademie der Künste: under the title The Fantasy in Painting , he categorically rejected structures that were not based on the perception of something real. In painting, the subject is basically indifferent, it depends on “the most adequate conception of nature for the painterly means”. With this he firmly rejected the young movement of abstract art , especially expressionism . Liebermann's essay was not a martial arts script; it was his personal plea for naturalism and impressionism. For the growing avant-garde of Expressionism, the “enemy image” slowly shifted from the reactionary academy management to the impressionist Secession board. As a reaction to Liebermann's essay, Henry Thode and Hans Thoma attacked his view of art: With regard to his naturalistic early work, they declared that they were unwilling to “allow Kohl warmed up from Berlin to be dictated as art laws”. This line of argument already pointed to the later Secession crisis.

The artist's studio , 1902 - there was an elegant, lively working atmosphere in his attic
studio in the Palais Liebermann.

When the Berlin Secession moved from Kantstrasse to a larger exhibition building on Kurfürstendamm in 1905 , Liebermann established closer contacts with Wilhelm Bode , director of the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum . In the summer he painted oil paintings of Judengasse in Amsterdam, which he had met three decades earlier. In September he went to Hamburg again for a commissioned work by Lichtwark to paint a representative picture of nine Hamburg professors for the Kunsthalle. Liebermann's creative power had reached its peak. Since the death of Adolph Menzel, who had strongly influenced him, he had also become the only top representative of Berlin art.

In 1907 the Berlin Secession dedicated a large birthday exhibition to its president, which was a huge hit with visitors. Liebermann spent his 60th birthday in Noordwijk , where he withdrew from enthusiasm for himself. Since 1900, Liebermann has also been increasingly concerned with graphics and pencil drawings. In 1908 the Secession presented 59 of his etchings in the black and white exhibition .

The secession crisis

Max Liebermann as the tyrant of the Berlin Secession , caricature 1902

In 1908 Walter Leistikow died, who as the founder had been an important pillar of the Berlin Secession. Liebermann's health deteriorated from the spring of 1909, which is why he went to Karlsbad for a cure . It was precisely at this time that the generational conflict broke out, which had been smoldering under closed doors for a long time between Impressionists and Expressionists: In 1910, the Secession board under Liebermann rejected 27 Expressionist images: the President raised his opinion of Expressionism to an institution, and so the former rebel took a stand against them Akademie-Kunst itself as a conservative spokesman. At the same time, he initiated the disintegration of the Secession movement. Emil Nolde represented the counterpart in this conflict , who wrote: “The clever old Liebermann is like many a clever man before him: he doesn't know his limits; his life's work [...] flakes and falls apart; he seeks to save, becomes nervous and phrase-like. [...] she realizes how deliberate all of this is, how weak and cheesy. [...] He himself accelerates the inevitable, we younger people can watch it calmly. "

Nolde accused Liebermann of the fundamental hostility towards progress and a dictatorial power within the secession. At least the former missed reality in parts: in 1910, works by Pablo Picasso , Henri Matisses , Georges Braques and the Fauvists were shown for the first time . The secession board stood behind its president and called Nolde's approach a "blatant hypocrisy". A general assembly was called, which voted 40 to 2 for the exclusion of Nolde. Liebermann himself had voted against the exclusion and stated in a defense speech: "I am absolutely against the exclusion of the writer, even at the risk that similar motives [...] could lead to [...] such so-called" oppositions of the younger generation ". "

Although Liebermann emerged stronger from this debate, Nolde had achieved his goal: The Secession was shaken to its foundations. Through his own efforts to save Nolde's honor, he had wanted to make his tolerance clear, but the split in the Secession movement could not be stopped. In 1910 there was a break within the Berlin Secession when many works by mostly Expressionist artists had been rejected by the jury, including the Berlin painter Georg Tappert . On the initiative of Georg Tappert, followed by Max Pechstein and other artists, including Nolde, the New Secession was formed . On May 15, she opened her first exhibition under the title “Rejected by the Secession Berlin 1910”. Pechstein was the president, Tappert the first chairman of the group. For example, painters from the Brücke and the Neue Künstlervereinigung München joined the New Secession . In the spring of 1911, Liebermann fled to Rome before the Secession crisis in Berlin. The death of his friend Jozef Israëls also fell at this time. The criticism of his management style grew louder and louder until it finally came from within his own ranks: On November 16, 1911, Liebermann himself resigned as President of the Berlin Secession. Max Beckmann , Max Slevogt and August Gaul also said goodbye. The general assembly elected Liebermann as its honorary president and gave Lovis Corinth the leadership of the Secession. This decision anticipated the end of the Secession and sealed the decline of German Impressionism.

Liebermann had already acquired a property on the shores of the Wannsee in 1909 . There he had a country estate built for himself by the architect Paul Otto August Baumgarten based on the examples of Hamburg patrician villas . The Liebermann Villa , which he moved into for the first time in the summer of 1910, was what he called his “Schloss am See”. Liebermann felt comfortable there and particularly enjoyed his personal design. He particularly enjoyed the large garden, which he and Alfred Lichtwark designed and which found its way into numerous late works by Liebermann.

The Secession's first post-Liebermann annual exhibition in 1912, chaired by Corinth, was unsuccessful. Liebermann again spent the summer of the year in Noordwijk. During a stay in The Hague , Queen Wilhelmina awarded him the House Order of Orange . The Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Berlin made him an honorary doctorate, and the long-awaited appointment to the Senate of the Academy of Arts followed. The art academies in Vienna , Brussels , Milan and Stockholm made him their member. Citizens of Berlin who had a name and standing had Liebermann portray them.

At the beginning of 1913 Corinth resigned as chairman of the Secession with the entire board, Paul Cassirer was elected chairman. The honorary president tried to prevent this appointment of a non-artist, but did not want to " step into the breach again ". Cassirer excluded from the 1913 annual exhibition precisely those members who had voted against him in the general assembly. Lovis Corinth unexpectedly took their side. Liebermann and other founding members of the Secession left the association in this second crisis. In February 1914 the " Free Secession " was finally founded , which continued the tradition of the first Secession movement. There was a hostility between Liebermann and Corinth that was symbolic for the Rumpfsecession and the Free Secession. Until his death, Corinth tried to take action against Liebermann as far as possible and in his autobiography also drew a deeply dislike picture of his colleague, who kept withdrawing from the limelight and devoted himself to his garden on the Wannsee.


In front of the castle : lithograph , wartime No. 1, August 31, 1914. Balcony speech : “I don't know any political parties, I only know Germans (the emperor)”.

Three weeks after the outbreak of World War I , the 67-year-old Liebermann wrote: “I will continue to work as calmly as possible, in the opinion that this will serve the general public best.” Despite such statements, he was gripped by general patriotism . He devoted himself to artistic war propaganda and drew for the newspaper Kriegzeit - Künstlerfl Blätter , which was published weekly by Paul Cassirer. The first edition showed a lithograph by Liebermann of the masses gathered at the beginning of the war in front of the Berlin City Palace on the occasion of the "party speech" of Wilhelm II. Liebermann understood the Emperor's words as a call to serve the national cause and at the same time to lower social barriers. During this time, his double outsider role as a Jew and an artist could (at least apparently) be canceled. Through the prosemitic appeal of the emperor “To my dear Jews”, he also felt obliged to participate in the war as a civilian. The former pioneer of the Secession movement now stood completely on the soil of the empire. He identified with the truce policy of Reich Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg , who tried to bridge internal contradictions in German society. Bethmann Hollweg represented more liberal views than the chancellors before him; in 1917 he was portrayed by Liebermann in a lithograph .

In autumn 1914, Max Liebermann was one of the 93 signatories, mostly professors, writers and artists, of the appeal “To the cultural world!” , In which German war crimes were rejected with a six-fold “It is not true!”. After the war, he expressed himself self-critically about this appeal: “At the beginning of the war, you didn't think twice. People were united in solidarity with their country. I know well that the socialists have a different view. [...] I've never been a socialist, and you don't become one anymore at my age. I received my entire upbringing here, I spent my entire life in this house, which my parents already lived in. And the German fatherland also lives in my heart as an inviolable and immortal concept. "

Self-portrait, Max Liebermann, 1916

He also joined the German Society in 1914 , in which public figures came together for political and private exchanges under the chairmanship of the liberal-conservative politician Wilhelm Solf . The only condition was not a specific political direction, but only the advocacy of the castle peace policy of Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg. The further the war progressed, the greater was Liebermann's retreat into private life, to his country house on the Wannsee. But portrait painting was initially limited to the military, like Karl von Bülow . Even before the outbreak of war, Liebermann had been the undisputed portrait painter of the Berlin upper class: anyone who was self-conscious let him paint them in oil. In this way, an enormous oeuvre of portraits was created that cemented Liebermann's reputation as a painter of his era. For his great enthusiasm for the war, however, he later had to take strong criticism. The art writer Julius Meier-Graefe wrote about the lithographs during the war : “Today some people give up their cow and cabbage and suddenly discover new motifs during the war, others come up with the idea of ​​handing their polo players a saber and imagines that this is how you create a winner. "

Liebermann never left Berlin with the exception of two spa stays in Wiesbaden in 1915 and 1917. So he no longer spent the summers in the Netherlands, but at Wannsee, while in winter he lived at Pariser Platz. His family did not suffer hardship, even if they used the flower beds in his country house to grow vegetables because of the insecurity of supplies. In May 1915, Käthe Liebermann, the painter's now almost 30-year-old daughter, married the diplomat Kurt Riezler , who had close ties to politics as an advisor to Bethmann Hollweg. In that year Anton von Werner died, as it were as a symbol of an ending era, as did Liebermann's cousin Emil Rathenau . The founding generation parted and a new era was about to begin.

In April 1916 Liebermann's essay The Fantasy in Painting appeared for the first time in book form. In the rewritten introduction he wrote: “Were the aesthetic views more confused than they are today? - Where a younger art historian Wilhelm Worringer writes from the trenches of Flanders that war decides not only for the existence of Germany, but also for the victory of Expressionism. "When the war time in 1916 changed its name in the wake of the waning enthusiasm for the war in" Bildermann ", Liebermann gave up cooperation. Instead, he dealt with illustration for the first time : in 1916 and 1917, he produced works on Goethe's novella and The Man of Fifty Years and Kleist's Small Writings . His illustrative style describes the atmosphere at turning points in dramaturgy and was not designed for narration, which is why he did not make a breakthrough in this field and he soon stopped working on illustrations for ten years.

The flower terraces in the Wannsee garden to the southwest ”, 1919 - from 1916 onwards, more and more paintings of the garden on the Wannsee were made.

In 1917 the Prussian Academy of the Arts dedicated a large retrospective of his work to Liebermann for his 70th birthday. Almost 200 paintings were shown in the exhibition. Julius Elias , whose wife Julie Elias dedicated her famous cookbook to Liebermann, called the honors for the painter "a coronation". The director of the National Gallery Ludwig Justi (Tschudis' successor) promised him his own cabinet. Wilhelm II agreed to the birthday exhibition and awarded Liebermann the Order of the Red Eagle III. Class. The honorable noted with satisfaction that His Majesty had buried the hatchet against modern art. Walther Rathenau published an essay about the exhibition in the Berliner Tageblatt : “In Liebermann, the new, metropolitan mechanized Prussia paints itself. […] The son of the city, the Jewish patriciate, the supranational education was chosen for this service; It had to be a person of spirit and will, of struggle, of passion and reflection. "

On January 18, 1918, the grand opening of the Max Liebermann Cabinet of the National Gallery took place. The inauguration speech was given by the Minister of Education, Friedrich Schmidt-Ott . A few weeks later, 500,000 workers struck in Berlin alone - the Reich was on the verge of upheaval. When the November Revolution finally broke out, Liebermann was staying at the house on Pariser Platz. Machine guns of the monarchists were installed in his own house, which is why the soldiers of the revolutionaries attacked the palace. After a bullet went through the wall on the first floor into the drawing room, the defenders surrendered. After this incident, Liebermann brought his valuable picture collection to safety and moved with his wife into their daughter's house for a few weeks. Liebermann took a negative view of the political changes: although he advocated the introduction of equal suffrage in Prussia and democratic-parliamentary reforms at the imperial level, for him "a whole world, albeit a rotten one," collapsed. He had already regretted Bethmann Hollweg's departure in 1917 and saw republicanization as a missed opportunity for a parliamentary monarchy. “We've been through bad times now. [...] Berlin is ragged, dirty, dark in the evening, [...] a dead city, plus soldiers selling matches or cigarettes on Friedrichstrasse or Unter den Linden , blind organ grinders in half-rotten uniforms, in one word: pitiful. "

Late years

Liebermann (center) giving the opening speech at an exhibition at the Berlin Academy of the Arts, 1922
Self-portrait, Max Liebermann, 1925

After the end of the war and the revolution, Liebermann took over the office of President of the Berlin Academy of the Arts in 1920 . The secessions continued to exist in parallel until they fell apart almost silently. With the election of Max Liebermann as President of the Academy, the time of the Secession movement ended de facto. He tried to unite the various currents under the umbrella of the academy, including expressionism. In the opening speech of the academy exhibition he said: “ Anyone who experienced the rejection of Impressionism himself in his youth will be careful not to speak the condemnation against a movement that he does not or does not yet understand, especially as head of the academy that although conservative by nature, it would freeze if it behaved in a purely negative manner towards youth. “With that he had returned to the liberality of the time before the secession crisis and was now trying to steer the fate of the academy with tolerance.

In view of the need to rebuild the collapsed imperial institution, Liebermann succeeded in providing it with a democratic structure, a free educational system and, at the same time, greater public attention. Through his advocacy, Max Pechstein , Karl Hofer , Heinrich Zille , Otto Dix and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff were accepted into the academy.

Wannseegarten , 1926. Liebermann's late work is characterized by a retreat into the private sphere and impressionistic depictions of his garden.

In 1922, Walther Rathenau was murdered by right-wing activists. Liebermann was deeply disturbed by the murder of his relative and companion. He made lithographs for Heinrich Heine's Rabbi von Bacharach, along with numerous paintings in his garden and drawings in memory of fallen Jewish soldiers at the front. In 1923 Max Liebermann was accepted into the order Pour le Mérite . On October 7, 1924, his younger brother Felix Liebermann, who had also been a friend of his life, died. Only two days later he had to mourn the death of his relative Hugo Preuss , the father of the Weimar constitution . Liebermann withdrew more and more into himself and his garden. He often appeared grumpy and surly to his fellow men.

Nevertheless, he continued to advocate artistic progressiveness and political art, even though his own works were regarded as “classics” or disapprovingly as old-fashioned. He supported the painting trenches of Otto Dix , which was the horror of World War emotionally and was accused of being a "tendentious concoction"; for Liebermann it was "one of the most important works of the post-war period". At the same time, despite his basically tolerant views, he polemicized against Ludwig Justi, who brought Expressionists to the Nationalgalerie for an exhibition. His public hostility represents a tragic chapter in his biography. In September 1926, Max Liebermann wrote in the Jüdisch-Liberalen Zeitung . In the Yom Kippur edition, he publicly confessed to his faith, to which he increasingly returned in old age. He also supported the Jewish children's home “Ahawah” and the aid association of German Jews .

Zille and his “Milljöh” congratulate Max Liebermann . Lithograph by Heinrich Zille , 1927

In 1927 Liebermann reappeared: the media and the art world celebrated him and his work on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Among the well-wishers were the Berlin veteran Zille as well as international greats such as Albert Einstein , Heinrich and Thomas Mann as well as Hugo von Hofmannsthal . Never before has a German artist been honored by his hometown in such a way as Berlin did with the more than 100 paintings by Liebermann's birthday exhibition. His life's work now appeared classic, the formerly provocative style in 1927 looked like documents from a bygone era. This is why the old Liebermann countered critics who accused him of seclusion and conservatism in the catalog of the exhibition: “The curse of our time is the addiction to the new [...]: the true artist strives for nothing other than: to become who he is . "

The city of Berlin granted him honorary citizenship, which, however, was heatedly contested in the city council. On his birthday, Reich President Paul von Hindenburg honored Liebermann with the eagle shield of the German Reich "as a token of the thanks that the German people owe you". Interior Minister Walter von Keudell presented him with the Golden State Medal embossed with "For services to the state".

Portrait of President Paul von Hindenburg 1927

At the end of 1927, Liebermann portrayed President Hindenburg. Although he did not confess to him politically, he gladly accepted the assignment and felt it was a further honor. In his work he dispensed with pathetic elements of representation. The portrait sessions of their peers were characterized by mutual respect and a certain amount of sympathy. In Hindenburg, the “old master of German modernism” saw a veteran Prussian patriot who could not possibly derail into irrationality. Liebermann wrote: “The other day a Hitler paper wrote - it was sent to me - that it would be unheard of for a Jew to paint the Reich President. I can only laugh at something like that. I'm convinced that when Hindenburg finds out, he'll laugh about it too. I'm just a painter, and what does painting have to do with Judaism? ”The writer Paul Eipper recorded in his“ studio talks ”about his meeting with Liebermann on March 25, 1930 in his house on Pariser Platz in Berlin:“ We're talking about Hindenburg. He (Liebermann) is enthusiastic about him. "

Liebermann's head was a popular subject for painters, photographers and caricaturists throughout his life. In addition to Lovis Corinth, it was also painted by the Swede Anders Zorn and the Dutchman Jan Veth , photographed by Yva and several times by Nicola Perscheid , caricatured by Heinrich Zille , among others . The sculptor Fritz Klimsch made a bronze bust in 1912, which was exhibited in 1917 at the Great Berlin Art Exhibition in Düsseldorf .

Due to illness, Liebermann resigned his post as president of the academy in 1932, but was also elected honorary president. The painter recovered from the treatment of his friend Ferdinand Sauerbruch (Sauerbruch made Liebermann's trapped inguinal hernia disappear in the Charité , on which occasion Liebermann had also portrayed the surgeon in the draft), Liebermann's neighbor at Wannsee since 1928 . The portraits he made of Sauerbruch represent the conclusion of his portrait work and are also its climax. For the last time he turned to an individually new motif.

time of the nationalsocialism

January 30, 1933 was the day when power was handed over to the National Socialists . When the torchlight procession of the new rulers marched past his house on Pariser Platz that day , Liebermann uttered the much-quoted sentence in his Berlin dialect :

"I can't eat as much as I want to throw up."

Max Liebermann's grave in the Jewish cemetery at Schönhauser Allee

Liebermann did not want to risk defending himself against the incipient change in cultural policy, as Käthe Kollwitz , Heinrich Mann or Erich Kästner did by signing the urgent appeal in June 1932. “The natural would be to leave. But for me, as Jews, that would be interpreted as cowardice. ”On May 7, 1933, after the start of conformity in the sense of National Socialist“ German Art ”, Liebermann resigned honorary presidency, senatorial post and membership in the Prussian Academy of the Arts and declared in the press: “During my long life I have tried with all my might to serve German art. I am convinced that art has nothing to do with politics or ancestry, so I can no longer belong to the Prussian Academy of the Arts [...], because my point of view is no longer valid. "

On the advice of the Swiss banker Adolf Jöhr , he was able to deposit the 14 most important works of his art collection in the Kunsthaus Zürich from May 1933 , where Wilhelm Wartmann was director.

He withdrew from the public eye, while hardly any of his companions stood by him and remained loyal. Only Käthe Kollwitz was still looking for access to him. One last self-portrait was created in 1934. Liebermann confessed to one of his last visitors: “I only live out of hate. […] I no longer look out the window of this room - I don't want to see the new world around me. "

Max Liebermann died on February 8, 1935 in his house on Pariser Platz. Käthe Kollwitz reported that he fell asleep quietly at seven in the evening. The death mask was made by Arno Breker , who was Hitler's preferred sculptor during this time . The photographer Charlotte Rohrbach took on the plaster mask.

Stumbling block for Martha Liebermann at Pariser Platz 7 in Berlin.

His death was not news to the media, which had already been brought into line; he was only mentioned in passing - if at all. The Academy of Arts, which in the meantime had become an instrument of the National Socialists, refused to honor the former president. For example, no official representative appeared at his funeral at the Schönhauser Allee Jewish cemetery on February 11, 1935 - neither from the academy nor from the city, of which he had been an honorary citizen since 1927. The Gestapo had even forbidden participation in the funeral in advance, fearing that it might turn into a demonstration for artistic freedom. Nevertheless, almost 100 friends and relatives came. Among the mourners were Käthe Kollwitz , Hans Purrmann and his wife Mathilde Vollmoeller-Purrmann , Konrad von Kardorff , Leo Klein von Diepold , Otto Nagel , Ferdinand Sauerbruch with his son Hans Sauerbruch , Bruno Cassirer , Georg Kolbe , Max J. Friedländer , Friedrich Sarre and Adolph Goldschmidt . According to Saul Friedländer , only three “Aryan” artists attended the funeral. In his funeral speech, Karl Scheffler pointed out that Liebermann is not just burying a great artist, but an era for which he was symbolic. The honorary grave of the State of Berlin is in field E.

Although the art dealer Walter Feilchenfeldt and the collector Oskar Reinhart tried to bring Martha Liebermann to Switzerland at the end of 1941, and Reinhart was ready to make a larger sum available to save her from Germany, the campaign failed due to the arbitrariness of the NS Regimes .

When deportation to the Theresienstadt concentration camp was imminent, Martha Liebermann took an overdose of veronal and died on March 10, 1943 in the Jewish hospital in Berlin . About six months later, the Gestapo confiscated most of Liebermann's famous private art collection. The Palais Liebermann on Pariser Platz soon sank into ruins.


Free period in the Amsterdam orphanage , 1881/1882 - formerly the National Gallery, today the Städelsches Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt am Main

Other works

  • Fonts
    • Letters , Volume 1: 1869–1895 ed. by Ernst Braun. Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV), Baden-Baden 2011, ISBN 978-3-86888-992-5
    • Letters , Volume 2: 1896-1901 ed. by Ernst Braun. Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV), Baden-Baden 2012, ISBN 978-3-86888-993-2
    • Letters , Volume 3: 1902-1906 ed. by Ernst Braun. Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV), Baden-Baden 2013, ISBN 978-3-86888-994-9
    • Letters , Volume 4: 1907-1910 ed. by Ernst Braun. Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV), Baden-Baden 2014, ISBN 978-3-86888-995-6
    • Letters , Volume 5: 1911-1915 ed. by Ernst Braun. Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV), Baden-Baden 2015, ISBN 978-3-86888-996-3
    • Letters , Volume 6: 1916-1921 ed. by Ernst Braun. Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV), Baden-Baden 2016, ISBN 978-3-86888-997-0
    • Letters , Volume 7: 1922-1926 ed. by Ernst Braun. Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV), Baden-Baden 2017, ISBN 978-3-86888-998-7
    • Letters , Volume 8: 1927-1935 ed. by Ernst Braun. Deutscher Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV), Baden-Baden 2019, ISBN 978-3-86888-991-8
    • Letters . Selection by Franz Landsberger, supplemented new edition by Ernst Volker Braun. Hatje, Stuttgart 1994.
    • In July 2011 , the Berlin State Library acquired an extensive collection of Liebermann's letters from the Karg Foundation . It is part of the former Liebermann collection by Hans-Georg Kargs . The letters from the period 1911 to 1931, correspondence on purchase requests, notifications about sending pictures, answers to loans, appointments, from 1917 also more personal notifications as well as detailed autobiographical information. It also contains letters addressed to Hugo von Tschudi and Alfred Lichtwark .
    • The imagination in painting - writings and speeches . With a foreword by Karl Hermann Roehricht and an afterword by Günter Busch . Buchverlag Der Morgen, 2nd edition. Licensed edition by S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1986.
    • Collected Writings . Cassirer, Berlin 1922.
    • In memoriam Paul Cassirer . Commemorative speeches on the occasion of the funeral ceremony on January 7, 1926, given by Max Liebermann and Harry Graf Kessler . With an obituary by René Schickele . Cranach Press, Weimar 1926.
    • Jozef of Israel . Cassirer, Berlin 1911.
  • Illustrations
    • Micha Josef Bin-Gorion (ed.): The story of Tobias. Translation by Rahel Ramberg, based on a Hebrew version. Inselverlag, Leipzig 1920.
    • Theodor Fontane : Effi Briest . Insel, 11th edition, Frankfurt am Main 1994. With 21 lithographs by Max Liebermann.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: The man of fifty years . Cassirer, Berlin 1922.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: The Novella . Cassirer, Berlin 1922.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Collected poems . 4 volumes. Cassirer, Berlin 1911.
    • Eduard Grisebach : The new Tannhäuser . With lithographs by Max Liebermann. JG Cotta'sche Buchhandlung, Stuttgart and Berlin 1922.
    • Heinrich Heine : The Rabbi von Bacherach . Propylaea Publishing House, Berlin 1923.
    • Gottfried Keller : The bad-holy Vitalis: A legend . With 1 lithograph by Max Liebermann. F. Heyder-Verlag, Berlin 1924.
    • Heinrich von Kleist : 54 stone prints for small writings by Heinrich von Kleist . Cassirer, Berlin 1917.
    • Thomas Mann : Collected works in 10 volumes . S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin 1925.
    • The Book of Ruth . Propylaea Publishing House, Berlin 1924.
  • Catalog raisonné, catalogs
    • Katrin Boskamp: Studies on the early work of Max Liebermann with a list of paintings and oil studies from 1866 to 1889 . Hildesheim 1994, ISBN 3-487-09897-0 .
    • Matthias Eberle : Max Liebermann. Catalog raisonné of paintings and oil studies . Hirmer, Munich 1995, 1440 pages, ISBN 3-7774-6760-X .
    • Kunstanstalt Stengel: Catalog of the drawings and watercolors by Max Liebermann . Dresden 1927.
      • Max Liebermann: Works and Writings . Digital catalog raisonné on DVD. Directmedia Publishing, Berlin 2008.


In 1919 Hermann Struck published the third edition of his work The Art of Etching and for the first time paid tribute to old masters such as Dürer and Rembrandt as well as young masters such as Oskar Kokoschka , Max Liebermann and Ernst Oppler . Collecting etchings came out of the shadows, just being a cheap way of collecting paintings.

In February 1936, on the occasion of Liebermann's first anniversary of his death , the Kulturbund Deutscher Juden organized a memorial exhibition in the premises of the New Synagogue Community. Within six weeks it drew around 6,000 visitors. When Martha Liebermann finally died in 1943, the entire estate was confiscated “in favor of the German Reich”. This affected not only paintings that he had created himself, but also large parts of the Liebermann Collection : During his life, Max Liebermann had brought together one of the most important private art collections in Berlin, which also included some of Manet's works. With the confiscation of the collection, the Nazi regime tore apart a unique collection that could never be brought together again in this form.

During the time of National Socialism , Liebermann's works were also affected by the verdict of “ degenerate art ”. However, only six works from museums were confiscated. The outlawing of his work affected less his work, in which one could hardly recognize extraordinary expressiveness, than his personality. As a liberal, Jewish upper-class citizen who had received national honors in the Weimar Republic and was internationally renowned, Liebermann was not an artist for the Nazi ideologues whose memory had to be promoted. Soon after the seizure of power, a slow reduction in the Liebermann holdings in public collections began. A total of four paintings were lost in the hail of bombs, 114 works acquired by 1933 remained in museums until 1945.

The portrait of Wilhelm von Bode , 1904, is an example of Liebermann's portraits. It could already be exhibited again in the National Gallery in 1947.

On the occasion of the artist's 100th birthday, works that had been preserved for the first time after the war were exhibited in the Nationalgalerie on July 20, 1947. At the same time, the Lower Saxony State Museum and the Hamburger Kunsthalle showed their remaining Liebermann works. Two years later, the director of the National Gallery, Paul Ortwin Rave , was able to reopen several rooms. So six paintings of Liebermann came ( Free time in an Amsterdam orphanage , cobbler's workshop , Plucking Geese , Flax Barn in Laren , portrait Wilhelm von Bode and portrait Richard Strauss ) for the permanent exhibition. Over the next few decades, the number of Liebermann works in German museums increased due to the return of traditional works and new acquisitions - their number is around twice as high today as it was before 1945. Main works by Liebermann moved into West German collections as new highlights, such as the lawn bleaching in 1954 to the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne or the Papageienallee 1955 to the Kunsthalle Bremen . Foundations from private collectors and repurchases were added. In 1954, on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the painter's death, an exhibition was held in the Lower Saxony State Museum under the patronage of Federal President Theodor Heuss , who had campaigned for West German museums to acquire Liebermann works. This was seen by a wide audience as a "rediscovery".

Compared to the rehabilitation of the work in the collections, Max Liebermann's art-historical appraisal was modest in the first post-war decades. In 1947 a booklet with 48 illustrations of Liebermann's most important works was published in Potsdam, combined with an essay by Willy Kurth . In 1953, Karl Scheffler's Liebermann biography, published since 1906, was reissued: The focus was on the realization that yesterday's revolutionary has become today's classic . The publication closed with the words: "He was the last major bourgeois painter in Germany."

In 1961 the first new monograph appeared, dealing with Liebermann's work. The author, Ferdinand Stuttmann , tried to explain the long lack of an art-historical reworking of the Liebermann work. In his opinion, the “face of the visual arts has changed fundamentally”, so that Liebermann's art “after the war no longer offers the problem and the material for a current representation”. Erl understood entirely as an art historian and wanted to do justice Liebermann as a historical personality.

The bleached lawn (1882/1883) was one of the new acquisitions of the post-war period by West German museums, here the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne .

While in the Federal Republic, on the one hand, connection to the international art development, from which one was excluded during the Nazi era, was sought and found and at the same time the historical works were rehabilitated, the development in the GDR was fundamentally different: under Soviet influence a socialist emerged there Realism . Works by artists of the past who criticized the respective “ruling class” were declared a “national cultural heritage” and were intended to support the socialist order. Max Liebermann, the humanistic Prussian Jew and progressive upper middle class, was also reinterpreted for socialism and removed from the tradition of Menzel, Kruger and Blechen and placed one-sidedly in the ranks of Käthe Kollwitz, Heinrich Zille and Hans Baluschek .

In 1965 the Akademie der Künste held an exhibition in East Berlin in which Liebermann's early work and his portraiture were shown. Particular controversies were caused by the picture “ Flax barn in Laren ”. Stuttmann wrote: “ Liebermann creates, at least quite unintentionally, an accusing picture of the social conditions of his time. "To this, Karl Römpler replied in his work Der deutsche Impressionismus , published in Dresden in 1958 :" In a picture like the Flax Scheuer [...] there is no accusation against a system that is not afraid to exploit young people. Liebermann is very much a child of his class here. ”Günter Meiszner, on the other hand, believed that the painting, as he wrote in his Marxist -influenced Liebermann monograph published in Leipzig in 1974 and the first in the GDR, was a“ commitment image for the working people ”. This illustrates the heated and often political discussions in the art world that Liebermann's work experienced.

In 1973 Karl-Heinz and Annegret Janda published the first detailed account of Liebermann's art collection. In 1970 “ Max Liebermann as a draftsman ” was published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Art History Institute of the University of Mainz .

The major exhibition of the complete works from 1954 was not followed up by the end of the 1970s. In small exhibitions, such as “Max Liebermann in Hamburg” in 1968 , only a section of Liebermann's artistic work could be shown. Most of the time, his works were shown in general exhibitions that also dealt with other artists of his time. In this way, Liebermann's works were often exhibited abroad, particularly in the United States. His work did not attract any outstanding international attention - Max Liebermann's name remained closely linked to the German version of Impressionism, which was "too late" in the European context. In terms of art history he is one of the national greats in Germany, but internationally only to the second guard of the Impressionists.

Memorial plaque for Max Liebermann on the house at Pariser Platz 7 in Berlin (at the Brandenburg Gate)
Memorial plaque for Max Liebermann at the Liebermann-Villa am Wannsee (Am Großen Wannsee 42)

In 1979/1980 the exhibition "Max Liebermann in his time" took place in the Neue Nationalgalerie in West Berlin . However, a major retrospective had become impossible since the construction of the Berlin Wall and the resulting lack of East German holdings. Here, however, an attempt was made to portray Liebermann in connection with works by contemporaries from Germany, France and America. In 1985, the GDR commemorated the 50th anniversary of his death with the so-called "black and white exhibition" in the copper engraving cabinet of the State Museums. This was contested by owning drawings and prints from East German holdings. Several monographs, such as the biographical works of Bernd Küsters and Lothar Brauner, were published in East and West on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his death.

Two riders on the beach , 1901, from the Schwabing art find (presumably until 1939 in the David Friedmann collection, Breslau)

Since the German reunification , Max Liebermann has experienced a renaissance: In several large retrospectives, overall presentations of his work could be made and through the founding of the Max Liebermann Society in 1995, which now has over 1200 members, the Liebermann Villa on Wannsee is a memorial to the public be made accessible. After restoration and restoration work between 2002 and 2006, which also affected the Wannsee Garden, there is now a permanent museum in memory of Max Liebermann and his work with his work. In 2006/2007 a joint exhibition of the Lower Saxony State Museum in Hanover , the Drents Museum Assen and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam took place under the title Max Liebermann und die Holländer (Dutch title: Max Liebermann en Holland ), which brought Liebermann's works closer to the Dutch public .

One of several existing versions of the painting Zwei Reiter am Strand from 1901 (restituted in May 2015) was shown during a press conference by the Augsburg public prosecutor on the Schwabing art find on November 5, 2013, along with ten other works by other artists, including Marc Chagall and Otto Dix , Franz Marc and Henri Matisse . They came from the collection of the art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt , which was confiscated from his son Cornelius in Schwabing in February 2012 .

Since 2011, the Deutsche Wissenschafts-Verlag (DWV) has been publishing the eight-volume scientific edition of the more than 2,600 letters by Max Liebermann as well as around 500 counter-letters (see above chapter Other works ) under the editorship of the Max Liebermann Society (Berlin ).

Exhibitions (selection)

The Art and Exhibition Hall in Bonn presented from 21 April to 11 September 2011, the exhibition Max Liebermann. Pioneer of modernity . Afterwards, the exhibits could be seen in the Hamburger Kunsthalle .

From July 4 to October 19, 2014, the Max Liebermann and Switzerland exhibition with around 90 paintings, watercolors, pastels and hand drawings from Swiss museums and private collections took place at the Oskar Reinhart Museum in Winterthur . A richly illustrated catalog was published by Hirmer Verlag .

From October 22, 2016 to February 26, 2017, the Kunsthalle Bremen presented the exhibition Max Liebermann - From Leisure Time to Modern Sport . It was created in cooperation with the Liebermann Villa in Berlin, which then showed it from March 19 to June 26, 2017.

September 15, 2019 to January 5, 2020: Max Liebermann and Hans Meid. Black on white. Behnhaus Drägerhaus Museum , Lübeck.

Literature (selection)

- chronological -

Current monographs

- Alphabetical -

  • Nicole Bröhan: Max Liebermann. (= Berlin heads ). Jaron, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89773-121-5 .
  • Bernd Küster : Max Liebermann. A painter's life. Ellert & Richter, Hamburg 1988, ISBN 3-89234-076-5 .
  • Sven Kuhrau: The art collector in the empire. Art and representation in Berlin's private collector culture. Ludwig, Kiel 2005, ISBN 3-937719-20-2 , ( dissertation from FU Berlin , 2002).
  • Nina Nedelykov, Pedro Moreira (Ed.): Back at the Wannsee. Max Liebermann's summer house. Transit, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-88747-181-4 .
  • Marina Sandig: The Liebermanns. A biographical picture of the time and culture of Max Liebermann's Prussian-Jewish relatives. Degener, Neustadt an der Aisch 2005, ISBN 3-7686-5190-8 .
  • Regina Scheer : "We are the Liebermanns". A family story. Propylaea, Berlin 2006; List Taschenbuch, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-548-60783-2 , review:.
  • Regina Scheer: Max Liebermann talks about his life. VBB, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-942476-05-8 , (Enclosure: 1 audio CD with a broadcast by the German broadcaster on April 13, 1932).
  • Bernd Schmalhausen : “I'm just a painter”. Max and Martha Liebermann in the Third Reich. Olms, Hildesheim 1994, ISBN 3-487-09911-X .
  • Chana Schütz: Max Liebermann. Impressionist painter. Founder of the Berlin Secession. Hentrich & Hentrich, Teetz 2004; 2nd edition, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-942271-14-1 .
  • Heinrich Strauss: Judaism and German art. On the Max Liebermann problem. In: Robert Weltsch (Ed.): German Judaism, Rise and Crisis. Design, ideas, works. Fourteen monographs. Publication by the Leo Baeck Institute . German publishing house, Stuttgart 1963.
Entries in reference books
Exhibition catalogs (selection)

- chronological -

Films (selection)

  • Max Liebermann - The Path to Modernity. Documentary, Germany, 2019, 52:27 min., Script and director: Susanne Brand, production: Lona • media, NDR , arte , first broadcast: September 1, 2019 on arte, synopsis by ARD and Lona • media with excerpts from the film.
  • The Liebermann Villa on Wannsee. TV reports, Germany, 2019, 30:11 min., Script and direction: Charlotte Pollex (4:27 min.), Film text by rbb, ( memento from September 5, 2019 in the web archive ), in conversation with Wolfgang Immenhausen , Chairman of the Liebermann Society;
    The garden of the Liebermann Villa. 5:33 min., Written and directed by Anna Tschöpe, film text by rbb, ( Memento from September 5, 2019 in the Internet Archive );
    Exhibition: “Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury”. Script and direction: Steffen Prell, film text by rbb, ( Memento from September 5, 2019 in the Internet Archive );
    Production: rbb , editing: rbbKultur - Das Magazin , first broadcast: May 18, 2019 on rbb television , online video from rbb.
  • Max Liebermann - From leisure time to modern sport. Exhibition film, Germany, 2016, 3:49 min., Camera: Christian Tipke, production: Tipke digitales Video, Kunsthalle Bremen , Internet publication: November 28, 2016 on YouTube, online video.
  • Max Liebermann: "The bleached lawn". Wallraf-Richartz-Museum & Fondation Corboud, Cologne. Image analysis, Germany, 2014, 4:38 min., Script and direction: Claudia Kuhland, production: WDR , series: West ART Meisterwerke , first broadcast: May 12, 2015 on WDR television , table of contents and online video available until December 31 2099.
  • On the trail of the Liebermann collection. An art thriller. Documentary, Germany, 2014, 28:46 min., Script and director: Marina Farschid, production: rbb , first broadcast: April 24, 2014 on rbb television , synopsis by ARD .
    The search is shown by Monika Tatzkow u. a. after Max Liebermann's famous private art collection confiscated by the Gestapo. Using concrete examples, Tatzkow explains the different approaches taken by owners of looted art in the past decades and the difficulties involved in restitution. Eight of over 200 works could be returned to Liebermann's heirs.
  • Liebermann Garden in Berlin-Wannsee. Documentary, Germany, 2014, 6: 240 min., Moderation: Hellmuth Henneberg , production: rbb , series: rbb Gartenzeit , first broadcast: May 25, 2014 on rbb television , synopsis by ARD . Garden tour with Wolfgang Immenhausen , Chairman of the Liebermann Society.
  • Max Liebermann and the French Impressionists. Documentary, Germany, 2013, 26:14 min., Script and direction: Grit Lederer, production: Medea Film, rbb, arte , first broadcast: April 28, 2013 on arte, synopsis by ARD , online video , with archive recordings.
  • 100 (0) masterpieces . Max Liebermann - Die Netzflickerinnen (1887–89), oil on canvas, Hamburger Kunsthalle. Image analysis, BR Germany, 1986, 9:57 min., Book: Sigrun Paas , director: Rainer E. Moritz , production: RM Arts, WDR , series: 100 (0) masterpieces . Distribution: DuMont creativ Video, Cologne, Hundred masterpieces from the great museums of the world , ISBN 3-7701-2058-2 .
  • Max Liebermann: Today's classic - yesterday's revolutionary. Documentary film, BR Germany, 1979, 43:10 min., Script and direction: Irmgard von zur Mühlen , production: Chronos Media , SFB , data set from the University of Freiburg , online video with original sound from Liebermann.

Web links

Commons : Max Liebermann  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Max Liebermann  - Sources and full texts


Biographies and works

Villa Liebermann on Wannsee


Individual evidence

  1. Biography in tabular form: Max Liebermann (1847–1935). In: Liebermann Villa on Wannsee .
  2. ^ Niece of Martin Joseph Haller
  3. Announcement No. 2871: Law on the Conditions of the Jews of July 23, 1847 in the Collection of Laws for the Royal Prussian States ( Prussia GS), pp. 263–278.
  4. Scheer, p. 136.
  5. Scheer, p. 138.
  6. ^ "Louis Lieberman had acquired the [...] rental palace in 1857", in: Natter / Schoeps, p. 16.
  7. Küster, p. 30.
  8. Liebermann 1889, quoted from Küster, p. 35.
  9. See Erich Hancke: Mit Liebermann in Amsterdam , in: Kunst und Künstler , Jg. 12, 1913, p. 91.
  10. Scheffler, p. 34.
  11. Hancke, p. 124.
  12. ^ Küster, p. 52.
  13. Hancke, p. 136f.
  14. Marion Schierz: exhibition. Liebermann Villa presents Jesus painted over. In: Berliner Morgenpost , November 21, 2009, with the original photo of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the temple .
  15. Hancke, p. 157.
  16. quoted from Küster, p. 56.
  17. quoted from Küster, p. 60.
  18. ^ Küster, p. 73.
  19. ^ Scheer, p. 234
  20. Scheer, p. 237.
  21. Scheffler, p. 42.
  22. quoted from Küster, p. 86.
  23. Hermann Helferich (alias Emil Heilbut): Study on Naturalism and Max Liebermann , in: Die Kunst für Alle ; Vol. 2, 1887, p. 225.
  24. Scheer, p. 244.
  25. ^ Küster, p. 89.
  26. ^ Küster, p. 97.
  27. ^ Küster, p. 101.
  28. See Jaro Springer alias Dr. Relling, in: Kunst für alle , 8 (1892/1893), pp. 218f.
  29. quoted from Küster, p. 106.
  30. Scheer, p. 259.
  31. Ostwald, p. 338.
  32. Scheer, p. 260.
  33. ^ Küster, p. 113.
  34. ^ Küster, p. 117.
  35. Scheer, p. 263.
  36. Hancke, p. 361.
  37. ^ Küster, p. 120.
  38. ^ Lovis Corinth : The life of Walter Leistikow . Berlin 1910, after Küster, p. 121.
  39. ^ Curt Glaser: The history of the Berlin Secession . In: Art and Artists , Volume 26 (1927/1928), p. 14.
  40. ^ Küster, p. 124.
  41. Stollwerck and the Chocolate Pictures. In: sweets-online , February 10, 2016, accessed October 7, 2019.
  42. Leaflet: Collecting Pictures . In: Imhoff Chocolate Museum , Cologne, 2010.
  43. ^ Küster, p. 129.
  44. Natter / Schoeps: Max Liebermann and the Impressionists , p. 118.
  45. ^ Küster, p. 137.
  46. ^ The German Association of Artists between Tradition and Future. In: Deutscher Künstlerbund , accessed on August 5, 2019.
  47. ^ Küster, p. 141.
  48. Hacnke, p. 452.
  49. Scheer, p. 297.
  50. ^ Küster, p. 151ff.
  51. ^ Emil Nolde to Karl Scheffler, December 10, 1910, quoted from Küster, p. 157.
  52. ^ Küster, p. 158.
  53. Annette Meier: From Impressionism to Cubism. ( Memento of August 11, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). In: Museum Portal Berlin .
  54. ^ Küster, p. 179.
  55. Scheer, p. 303.
  56. See Lovis Corinth: autobiography . P. 154.
  57. Berliner Zeitung, February 12, 1914, quoted from Küster, p. 164.
  58. a b Scheer, p. 307.
  59. See Jenns Eric Howoldt and Uwe M. Schneede (eds.), Im Garten von Max Liebermann , catalog for the exhibition in the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the Alte Nationalgalerie 2004, Nicolaische Verlagsbuchhandlung, ISBN 9783894791803 , p. 12ff., Limited preview in the Google book search.
  60. Eberhard von Vietsch: Wilhelm Solf - Ambassador between the times . Rainer Wunderlich Verlag, Tübingen 1961, pp. 142ff.
  61. Catherine Krahmer (ed.): Julius Meier-Graefe. Art is not there for art history . Göttingen 2001, pp. 408-409.
  62. Max Liebermann: The imagination in painting . Berlin 1916, p. 14.
  63. Hancke, p. 345.
  64. a b Scheer, p. 313.
  65. Scheer, p. 316.
  66. ^ Küster, p. 197.
  67. Scheer, p. 325.
  68. Scheer, p. 326.
  69. quoted from Küster, p. 205.
  70. quoted from Küster, p. 213.
  71. ^ Paul Eipper: Atelier talks with Liebermann and Corinth . Piper, Munich 1971, ISBN 3-492-01900-5 , p. 29.
  72. ^ Fritz Klimsch: Bust of Prof. Dr. Max Liebermann (illustration) , in the Great Berlin Art Exhibition in the Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf in 1917
  73. ^ Ferdinand Sauerbruch , Hans Rudolf Berndorff : That was my life. Kindler & Schiermeyer, Bad Wörishofen 1951; cited: Licensed edition for Bertelsmann Lesering, Gütersloh 1956, pp. 314-318.
  74. a b quoted from Küster, p. 216
  75. ^ Centralvereins-Zeitung, May 11, 1933.
  76. Wolf Gruner: Persecution of Jews in Berlin 1933–1945. A chronology of the measures taken by the authorities in the Reich capital. 2nd Edition. Topography of Terror Foundation , Berlin 2009, ISBN 978-3-9811677-7-1 , p. 63.
  77. Cf. Marc Fehlmann, Max Liebermann and Switzerland: Stations of Reception , in: Max Liebermann and Switzerland , Munich 2014, pp. 29–27, especially p. 7, and Christina Feilchenfeldt, From Berlin to Zurich and New York : The rescue of the Max Liebermann collection through Switzerland , in: Max Liebermann and Switzerland , edited by Marc Fehlmann and Museum Oskar Reinhart (Winterthur), Hirmer, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-7774-2276-3 , p. 49 –59, table of contents.
  78. ^ Anita Daniel, last visit to Max Liebermann , in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , No. 362 of March 3, 1933.
  79. ^ Käthe Kollwitz: The diaries 1908-1943 . Edited by Jutta Bohnke-Kollwitz. btb, Munich 2007. Entry from February 9, 1935.
  80. Scheer, p. 347
  81. Mechthild Küpper: A (stumbling) stone for Martha Liebermann. In: FAZ , June 9, 2005.
  82. Saul Friedländer : The Third Reich and the Jews , Beck'sche Reihe, Munich 2010, p. 24.
  83. ^ Küster, p. 223.
  84. a b Cf. Christina Feilchenfeldt, From Berlin to Zurich and New York: The Rescue of the Max Liebermann Collection via Switzerland , in: Max Liebermann and Switzerland , p. 56; and Bernd Schmalhausen , “I'm just a painter”. Max and Martha Liebermann in the “Third Reich” , Olms, Hildesheim 1996; 4th edition 2018, ISBN 978-3-487-15658-3 , table of contents .
  85. Scheer, p. 380ff.
  86. Rahel E. Feilchenfeldt-Steiner, Thomas Raff: A festival of the arts: Paul Cassirer: the art dealer as a publisher , p. 129, limited preview in the Google book search.
  87. Klaus P. Rogner (Ed.): Lost works of painting . Munich / Berlin 1965, p. 211.
  88. Lothar Brauner: Max Liebermann in Berlin and the two German states 1945–1989. To the reception of his work in divided Germany. One try. In: G. Tobias Natter and Julius H. Schoeps (eds.): Max Liebermann and the French Impressionists . Exhibition catalog of the Jewish Museum of the City of Vienna. DuMont Verlag, Vienna / Cologne 1997, ISBN 3-7701-4294-2 , p. 55 ff.
  89. Brauner, p. 58.
  90. Max Liebermann. Forty-eight pictures . With a text by Willy Kurth. Art and the present III , Potsdam 1947.
  91. ^ Karl Scheffler: Max Liebermann . With an afterword by Carl Georg Heise , Wiesbaden 1953, p. 114
  92. See Ferdinand Stuttmann: Max Liebermann , Hannover 1961, p. 7.
  93. Stuttmann, p. 12.
  94. Brauner, p. 59.
  95. Stuttmann, pp. 29-30.
  96. ^ Karl Römpler: The German Impressionism. The main masters in painting , Dresden 1958, p. 27.
  97. Brauner, p. 61.
  98. ^ Karl-Heinz Janda and Annegret Janda: Max Liebermann as an art collector. The creation of his collection and its contemporary impact. In: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, research and reports , Vol. 15, Berlin 1973, pp. 105–149.
  99. See: John Rewald : The History of Impressionism . Museum of Modern Art. 4th edition, New York 1973. ISBN 0-87070-360-9 .
  100. ^ For Max Liebermann 1847–1935. A black and white exhibition by the Academy of Arts and the Kupferstichkabinett of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, in the Nationalgalerie . Catalog, Berlin 1985.
  101. ^ Exhibition: Max Liebermann and the Dutch. In: Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover / , February 5, 2007, accessed on August 5, 2019.
  102. rsz / sda : Nazi looted art back with Jewish family. In: Tages-Anzeiger , May 15, 2015.
  103. ^ Exhibition: Max Liebermann. Pioneer of modernity. April 21 to September 11, 2011. In: Bundeskunsthalle .
  104. ^ Exhibition: Max Liebermann. From leisure time to modern sport. 11/22/2016 - 02/26/2017. In: Kunsthalle Bremen , accessed on August 5, 2019.
    Exhibition video, 2016, 3:49 min.
  105. Andreas Tobler: At the graves of the Liebermann family. In: NZZ , October 29, 2006.
  106. ^ Gabriela Walde: Exhibition. The family is still looking for Liebermann's lost art treasures. In: Berliner Morgenpost , November 21, 2013.
      Elke Linda Buchholz: Liebermann's art collection: “You can never have enough Manet”. In: Tagesspiegel , December 23, 2013.
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on May 18, 2008 in this version .