01 June 2010

The Beginnings of German Modernism: The Munich Secession

Before there was the Vienna and Berlin Secession there was the Munich Secession. Formed in 1892, this diverse artistic movement rejected the traditional Academic Art of the time and broke away from the crowded exhibition style of the nineteenth century. In Munich Secessionism the beginnings of twentieth century Modernism can be seen. It also introduced a modern way of presenting art where paintings were shown against a light wall and hung at eye level with space between them. Tyrolean born Leo Putz (1869-1940) joined the Secessionists and painted in an Impressionistic style that helped lead the way to Expressionism as shown in his en plein air Summer Dreams. Oskar Zwintscher (1870 -1916) painted with Symbolist starkness in The Dead Man by the Sea. Impressionistic painter and illustrator Max Slevogt (1868 - 1932) was best known for his landscapes but provides us with a figural study in The Wrestling School. Images are from The Munich Secession and America.


  1. Thanks for the article. It helps to put all of the elements in their place. No movement stands in isolation and it is interesting to see where influences originated, developed and crossed over.

  2. Thank you John, I have always enjoyed your textile blog and just became aware of your carpet blog which I look forward to reading. Best, Kendra

  3. Craig Banholzer08 January, 2013 08:42

    Thanks for sharing this lovely painting by Leo Putz. On the other hand, please try to understand how a phrase like "Impressionistic style that helped lead the way to Expressionism" is an example of Historicism. Individual artists are not trying to "lead the way" to anything; they are simply trying to make the best paintings and sculptures they now how to.

  4. Craig, Thank you for your informative response. Best, Kendra


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