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German Art term paper

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"The same fate befell the important series of figures commissioned for the facade of St. Catherine's Church in Lubeck; by 1933 he had succeeded in completing three of these huge, impressive figures, and two casts of each were made in glazed ceramic, one for the church and one to be sold in order to finance the whole scheme. The Busch-Reisinger Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts has the Beggar from this series. The figures could be installed in Lubeck for the first time only after the war; the six missing ones were made by Gerhard Marcks Barlach's significance in modern German sculpture consists primarily in the discovery of completely simple, elementary means and in the absolute honesty of the deeply-felt, new sensuous content. Alongside Barlach, at the fountainhead of modern German sculpture, stands Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Barlach's antithesis spiritually, artistically, in his personal origins, and the sources of his art. The appearance of two such different artists on the scene was an extraordinary piece of good fortune for German art, forestalling the danger of one-sidedness which might well have occurred if only one of these two strong personalities had been present in a single period."
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"Towards the middle of the fifteenth century German painting was influenced by the art of the LowCountries, particularly by Rogier van der Weyden and Dirck Bouts. Later, about the year 1500, Durer, Burgkmair, and others went to Italy, particularly to Venice, in order to study the beauty of Renaissance art and even more the laws which governed it. German painters played their part in every new aesthetic development and that they succeeded in producing an art that was a genuine reflection of the history of European painting without sacrificing their personal integrity. At the same time it is obvious that German painting in this as in other periods was more closely allied to French art than to that of other countries. It was not only the change of style in itself that made it possible to draw a distinction between the older German art of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and German mediaeval painting. The change resulted in the evolution of one of the most beautiful and imaginative creations of German art, the German altar pieces which were produced during the fifteenth century. The course of German painting ran parallel to that of the Italian Renaissance. The first Gothic panels, of which we show several examples, date from the time when Giotto painted the Arena chapel in Padua; the altar pieces which are so especially characteristic of German mediaeval art coincide with the earliest works of the Italian Renaissance and the paintings of the brothers van Eyck. German primitive painting ends with Baldung Grien and the younger Holbein, that is to say, at the time of Michelangelo. But this parallelism is only an external one. Although many stimuli reached Germany from across the Alps during these centuries, and although one can trace a certain relationship between German and Italian art, their aims were very different. This was true even of Durer, indeed in his work the difference is most clearly exemplified. One should not apply the same standards to German and Italian art. It is better to think of a basic theme taken up by two voices, and this comparison with music may be helpful towards an understanding of European art in every period. It was never a solo, one voice was always answering another."
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"Inasmuch as censorship had become formalized and institutionalized, the chambers played a vital role in keeping the activities of German artists within the boundaries of ideological acceptability and in gradually narrowing those boundaries as the 1930S progressed. Judging by the scarcity of pre-war cases involving expulsions for censorship violations, it appears that the chambers reserved this ultimate disciplinary measure as a last resort. The low frequency of expulsions for such transgressions might also suggest a high rate of compliance by chamber members, despite persistent whining by intemperate Nazis about alleged chamber moderation. Degenerate jazz musicians and "art-Bolshevik" painters were not as prominent by late 1939 as complaints lodged with the SD might indicate, and to the extent that they did exist, they were the exception rather than the rule. Notable instances of defiance should not overshadow the cooperativeness of the vast majority of German artists."
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