Expressionism in Denmark

Art and Discourse

Authored by: Torben Jelsbak

The Routledge Companion to Expressionism in a Transnational Context

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138712553
eBook ISBN: 9781315200088
Adobe ISBN:


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It is a commonplace in modern art historiography to view expressionism as an art movement originating in Germany. In such a narrative, the German artists of the group Die Brücke (The Bridge), formed in Dresden in 1905, and Franz Marc and Wassily Kandinsky’s Munich-based group of German and Russian artists appearing in the 1912 almanac Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), are usually regarded as the first collective manifestations of expressionism as an art movement. Yet, if we trace the emergence and early history of the concept, it is well known that the first uses of the term “expressionism” in the European art discourse, around 1910–1911, were made outside of Germany and not in reference to German but mostly French art, more specifically referring to “postimpressionist” and fauvist painters, such as Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Henri Matisse, and André Derain, among others. 1

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