Paintings from Germany
Now it is easy to determine what German art is, but if we talk about artworks created before the union into one state in the 19th century, we always classify as German artworks created on the territories of modern Austria and Switzerland as they were a part of Germany in that time.
Development of painting in Germany
The history of painting in Germany between Middle Ages and 19th century is quite similar to other European countries.
In the Middle Ages the most common form of visual art was an illuminated manuscript depicting mostly illustrations for religious books. In that time Gothic architecture and sculpture were the most popular art form creating images of religious scenes.
Painting experienced significant growth during the German Renaissance. In this period a new printing method was invented, and illustrations of German painters, though even not highly artistic, quickly spread over Europe. One of the most known painters of German Renaissance is Albrecht Durer. He worked in a big variety of styles depicting scenes from religious stories, portraits, landscapes. His highly technician watercolour Young Hare was one of the first paintings to depict an animal solely and amazingly realistically.
After the Reformation the leading artists of that time supported Protestant church so they didn't have a possibility to paint religious canvases and decorate churches any more. In the end of 16th century Danube School was one of the leading art movements. Artists who worked within it were the first in Europe to paint independent landscapes showing only nature on their canvases and prints.
Baroque and Rococo painting which seemed to simply invade Europe in 17th century came to Germany a little later but quickly became popular here. On the other hand, Neoclassicism appeared in Germany quicker than in France. Later, German Romanticism became very popular, and many artists worked in this style with Caspar David Friedrich as the most known representative. 19th century was a time for Naturalism to occupy artists' minds.
20th century in German art: difficult but challenging period
In the beginning of 20th century Germany experienced an explosion of various small art groups and movements, and each of them developed in their own way. They mostly worked in Expressionism, Magic Realism and New Objectivity art, but everything was over with the beginning of Nazi regime who banned all non-objective and ideologically wrong art. After the end of the war Conceptualism and Neo-expressionism became the most popular styles.
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