The term Expressionism refers first and foremost to the emotionalized painting practiced during the first two decades of the twentieth century. Informed by the accomplishments of Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, and Edvard Munch, an expressive brushwork also took hold in Austrian painting, through the medium of the Fauves in Paris and the Brücke painters in Dresden. The works by Richard Gerstl, Oskar Kokoschka, Egon Schiele, Herbert Boeckl, Helene Funke, and Jean Egger, as well as those by the artists of the so-called Nötsch Circle in Carinthia, are thus characterized by an ecstatic blaze of colour and an application of paint that was meant to enhance expression. An illusionist rendering of surface textures was renounced in favour of reflecting the artist’s individual sensations and emotions.
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