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Edwin Lachnit

(b Pöchlarn, Lower Austria, March 1, 1886; d Montreux, Feb 22, 1980).

Austrian painter, printmaker and writer. He revolutionized the art of the turn of the century, adopting a radical approach to art, which was for him essential to the human condition and politically engaged. Kokoschka promoted a new visual effect in painting, related to making visible the immaterial forces active behind the external appearance of things, in which the object was a living, moving substance that revealed its inner essence to the eye. This applied to the portraits as well as to the townscapes (see Self-portrait, 1913). The art-historical basis for his work lies in the painting tradition of Austrian late Baroque and especially in the colourfully expressive visions of Franz Anton Maulbertsch. As was true of many artists of his generation, Kokoschka’s creative urge was also expressed in literature and showed a clear inclination towards music and theatre.