Oskar Kokoschka was at first a representative of the Viennese 'Jugendstil' and later became an epounder of the modern psyche. The stirrings of the soul are visible beneath the transparent surface of his portraits. The gestures of his models equally gave him insight into the subconscious, whose idiosyncrasies determined the form and color of his pictorial style.
Kokoschka was forced to leave Vienna, went to Berlin and joined the 'Sturm', a circle around Hewarth Walden. In addition to his portraits, his favourite themes were still-lifes and landscapes, where too with fascinating charm he lifts the veil from the hidden mysteries. He also treated literary themes of his own and other people's invention.
After Kokoschka began to teach at the Dresden Academy after World War I, his paintings acquired greater scope and luminosity. Well into the 1950s and 1960s he continued his trips to nearly all European countries, to the Near East and to America, and which inspired many of his canvasses. He never failed to react to each new motif with an unusual yet suitable palette and intuition. Kokoschka seemed to represent nature faithfully but he always bathed it in the light of his genius. His mountainscapes are reminiscent of Altdorfer, and his monumental allegorical and mythological compositions are a renaissance of Austrian Baroque.
Source: European paintings in German art galleries
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