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Programme / Preview 2020

Karl Hagemeister
„Ever-changing light"
German impressionism in landscape painting

18.10.2020 - 25.04.2021


Born in Werder on the River Havel, Karl Hagemeister (1848-1933) ranks among the most prominent representatives of German impressionism and was a pioneer of modern landscape painting.

After studying in Weimar, forming temporary links with the group around Wilhelm Leibl known as the "Leibl Circle" and influenced by contemporary French art, he settled in the picturesque Havel Lake District close to Potsdam in 1884, remaining deeply attached to the Brandenburg countryside all his life from which he drew upon his motifs. While still maintaining links with the Berlin art scene around Max Liebermann and remaining enrolled as a founder-member of the Berlin Secession, Hagemeister nevertheless preferred to work in solitude and seclusion.

He likewise went his own way to create an individual style of landscape. Quite early in life he had discovered nature as a living organism and set out to capture the scenic beauty of its subtle changes and movements, developing an increasingly free style distinguished by rhythmic and intensely colourful accents. Dynamism and expressivity gained increasing importance in his late works in which wave and coastal formations play a prominent role.

The exhibition – comprising roughly 100 paintings, pastels and drawings – covers all of the artist’s different creative periods in addition to singling out central influences. The exhibits have been culled from major Hagemeister collections, in particular those from Potsdam and Berlin. A number of privately owned works are to be put on public display for the very first time.

The Potsdam Museum – Forum for Art and History in collaboration with the Georg Schäfer Museum, Schweinfurt and the Ahrenshoop Museum of Art.

Karl Hagemeister: Wiesenstück, 1906
Karl Hagemeister: Meadowland, 1906, oil on canvas, 71 x 111 cm, Potsdam Museum – Forum for Art and History
© Potsdam Museum – Forum for Art and History