||Periodical devoted to Max Liebermann (1847–1935), German painter, with many full page black and white reproductions of his works. Liebermann, the son of a Berlin industrialist, studied at the Weimar Academy. He was only 23 when his picture of The Boy Jesus in Dispute with the Rabbis was attacked by critics, some of whom appear to have been motivated by anti-Semitism. Two years later his Women Plucking Geese received high praise when it was exhibited in Hamburg and Berlin.
Liebermann was a very Nordic painter. Photographic naturalism was as abhorrent to him as expressionism, and although he has often been called an impressionist he never regarded himself as one. He spent much of his life in Holland and was heavily influenced by its gray skies. He used cool, austere colors to paint the bleak, flat Netherlands landscapes in which he discovered the excitement of changing atmosphere, sunlight intermingling with mist, blue hazes, and empty spaces. While his early work tended to be static, he gradually loosened up as regards form and color, reversing the traditional pattern by growing freer and more spontaneous as be became older. In his fifties he began painting athletes in action, rearing horses, and the colorful vegetable markets of the Amsterdam Jewish quarter.
In 1898 Liebermann became a member of the Berlin Academy and helped to found Sezession, an association of progressive artists. In 1920 he became president of the Berlin Academy of Art. His Gesammelte Schriften ("Collected Writings") appeared in 1922. By this time he was too frail for his regular trips to Holland and did much of his painting at his summer home in Wannsee, outside Berlin. He became a celebrated and expensive portraitist, painting his sitters with a broad virtuosity, but not often probing deeply into their personality. Among them were Hermann Cohen, Georg Brandes, and Walther Rathenau. He also did thousands of rapid sketches in pen, pencil, crayon, and chalk.
Liebermann considered himself first and foremost a German and had little interest in Jewish affairs, although he described himself as being "very much aware of belonging to the Jewish people" and as watching the goals of Zionism with "the greatest interest." Apart from his paintings and drawings of the Amsterdam ghetto, virtually his only work on Jewish subjects was a series of lithographs for an edition of Heinrich Heine's Rabbi of Bacharach and two oils on the Samson and Delilah theme. When the Nazis came to power in 1933 he was ousted from presidency of the Academy and his paintings were removed from all German museums. His death two years later was completely ignored by the German press. In 1943 his widow was told that she was to be deported by the Gestapo, and she committed suicide. The Liebermann house in Pariser Platz was looted and its valuable collection of paintings stolen and scattered.