(b Berlin, July 20, 1847; d Berlin, Feb 8, 1935).
German painter, draughtsman, printmaker and collector. He dominated the German art world from the 1890s to the 1930s. Although at first a highly controversial figure, after the turn of the century he was showered with honours. His Naturalist and Impressionist works have been consistently admired, despite being banned during the Nazi period. Liebermann’s approach was that of a liberal cosmopolitan, and his work is distinguished by its honesty and commitment to social reform. Influenced by Dutch and French painting, he led the modernist movement in Germany away from the literary art of the 19th century.
The son of a Jewish businessman from Berlin, Liebermann initially studied philosophy, but in 1866 he became a pupil of Carl Steffeck, who had given him occasional drawing tuition. In 1868–72 he studied under Ferdinand Wilhelm Pauwels (1830–1904), Charles Verlat and Paul Thumann (1834–1908) at the Kunsthochschule in Weimar. In 1871...