WEIMAR.- Today's longing for unspoiled nature is due to the impending consequences of global climate change and the unbridled exploitation of natural resources. But as early as the mid-19th century a movement developed in France, that could pull artists out of their urban ateliers into the country to be "en plein air", to ensure the beauty and virginity of the wild. The artists no longer sought the sublime and picturesque subject, as before on the traditional grand tour of the Alps and Italy, but the original and simple in the vicinity and in rural life. With its close monitoring of the atmospheric phenomena of different times and seasons, they were also the pioneers of Impressionism. A village was formed at the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau near Paris, for Jean-Francois Millet, Gustave Courbet, Camille Corot, Charles-Francois Daubigny, Théodore Rousseau, which included a focus on outdoor painting, countless artists from other European countries followed.
An extensive exhibition has been devoted to this phenomenon by the Weimar Classics Foundation to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Weimar art school. The exhibition takes into consideration the role of the Weimar landscape painting in the web of relations between France, the Netherlands and Germany. With a top-class selection of 200 works from international and German museums and from private collections, the exhibition introduces, in thematic chapters, both the defining example of the Barbizon school and the mediating role of the Hague School to Jozef Israëls, Willem Roelofs, and the brothers Maris and Anton Mauve to the dissemination of the new reality in the "intimate" before paysage. The exhibition considers how the new open-air painting was taken in Germany and the creation of artist colonies in Willingshausen, Dachau and Goppeln. The exhibition presents a selection of important works by the Düsseldorf School of Painting led by Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Gustav Eugene Ducker, Carl Seibels and the Munich school of painting by Eduard Schleich, Adolf Heinrich Lier, Hans Thoma and the Leibl-Kreis.
In Weimar, this advanced landscape painting, through the mediation of teachers such as Francis of Lenbach and Albert Brendel, is the main theme of the exhibition. Indeed, here were the new views of the importance of nature study and the realistic view of the immediate environment in a particularly fertile ground. Thus a group of landscape painters known as "Weimar School" was formed by Karl Buchholz, Paul Baum, Theodore Hagen, Leopold von Kalckreuth, Ludwig von Gleichen-Russwum and Christian Rohlfs, by the mid-1870s in Germany which had a leading role in the development of natural open-air painting and realistic play. Following the example of the forest of Fontainebleau, the Germans developed the Webicht, a little sparse woods between Weimar and Tiefurt located, and the Kirschbachtal, were the favorite motifs of the Weimar School.
Another important development happened in 1890, when French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist works by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Henri Martin were first presented publicly in Germany. A selection of these paintings once again have been brought to Weimar and presented here together with those works by the Weimar painters who adapted the Impressionist style of painting earlier than in no other place in Germany. This outlook shows that Weimar was in the 1890s - before the arrival of Count Harry Kessler - a center of Impressionist landscape painting, still radiating the end of the century and which spoke to students like Max Beckmann, who studied here between 1900 and 1903.