Meidner, Ludwig ( ) - 1916 Self-Portrait
Ink on paper; 44 x 35 cm.
Ludwig Meidner was a German expressionist painter and printmaker. He studied at the Royal School of Art in Breslau and the Julien and Cormon Academies in Paris where he became friends with Amedeo Modigliani.
In 1912 he began a series of paintings which marked a radical departure in style and would make his reputation. The "Apocalyptic Landscapes" anticipate the horrors of the first world war by several years. The series are some of the purest "expressionist" works, portraying the terror of the modern city in catastrophic settings; comets cross the sky like canon shells, fires rage, men scream and flee for their lives, buildings totter on the edge of collapse .
After the first world war his art turns to producing religious paintings. He is a habitual self portraitist producing a remarkable series of Rembrandt inspired self portraits. His portraits from 1915 to the end of the 1920s are a gallery of the leading expressionist and Dada writers and poets.
In 1939 he fled with his family to England where he was interned as an enemy alien. He returned to Germany in 1953.