Max Liebermann

Art-historically, Liebermann’s (1847–1935) paintings and drawings are situated in the transitional phase between Naturalism and Classical Modernism. In 1892 he founded the Berlin Secession (initially the “Group of 11”) as an alternative to the conservative state-run artists’ association. From 1920 to 1933 he served as director of the Prussian Academy of Arts. While Jewish motifs featured in his world-famous works, it was only after National Socialism began to gain strength that he developed an interest in Zionism. As the Nazis paraded through the Brandenburg Gate on 30 January 1933, he spoke his famous words: “I cannot eat as much as I would like to vomit”. Max Liebermann died in 1935. Facing deportation, his wife Martha committed suicide in 1943. The couple is buried in the Jewish cemetery on Schönhauser Allee.

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