b. Berlin, 1847 - d. Berlin, 1935
Max Liebermann, a German painter and graphic artist, came from a family of Berlin Jewish industrialists. He studied art in Berlin and Weimar, and later traveled to Paris and Barbizon for prolonged stays. He was also influenced by Dutch art, which affected the course of his development as an artist. In the 1890s, Liebermann's palette became brighter, and his paintings evidenced a new unity of tone and color. Though he was considered to be the most distinguished exponent of Impressionism in Germany, he never regarded himself as an Impressionist. His mature style, which was rather Nordic in conception, was quite unlike that of the French.
In 1899, Liebermann founded and became the president of the Berlin Secession, an association of progressive artists who were open to foreign influences. In 1920, he was appointed President of the Berlin Academy of Art. During the last thirty years of his life Liebermann worked mainly on portraits and demonstrated virtuosity in a wide range of techniques. With the rise of the Nazi regime in 1933, he was ousted from the presidency of the Academy, his paintings were removed from all German museums, and he was forbidden either to exhibit or to work. After his death in 1935, his house was looted and his collection stolen and scattered.