Germany • 1876−1907

Biography and information

Paula modersohn-Becker (German. Paula Modersohn-Becker) (February 8, 1876, Dresden — 20 November 1907, Worpswede) was a German painter, famous representatives of early expressionism. In less than 14 years of his creative activity modersohn-Becker wrote about 750 paintings, 1,000 drawings and 13 etchings, which incorporates the main directions of art of the early XX century.

Paula modersohn-Becker (08.02.1876 - 20.11.1907) - the artist who became a forerunner of German expressionism. His portraits, still lifes and landscapes modersohn-Becker contrasted the achievements of French art.

Paula Becker was born in Dresden in the family of a railway engineer. В1888 family moved to Bremen, where Paula first began to draw. At will of parents after receiving the school-leaving certificate she completed teacher-training courses in Hasstate (1893-1895). Between 1896 and attended a private school of painting and drawing in Berlin as a woman in the state Academy of arts to do was impossible.

1898: In Worpswede. In 1897 Becker first came to Worpswede, and a year later settled in artists ' colony. She studied with Fritz mackensen, who in 1895 founded the colony, along with Otto Modersohn, Fritz over Beck and Heinrich Thererom. Like many other representatives appeared in 80-ies and 90-ies of the XIX century, colonies of artists Worpswede artists prefer not to be the case with the art academies and the dominant historical theme. In looking for some romantic idyll, they directed their efforts to the creation of a new landscape painting. A favorite theme was melancholic-severe charm of marshy and meadow landscapes in the North of Germany.

1900: vision of the French avant-garde. Soon enough, Becker felt the limitations of an enthusiastic landscape painting. In addition, she was aware of his own confrontation of the modern art. In Paris, the artist became acquainted with the works of Paul cézanne and Paul Gauguin, which prompted her to create new forms in this period, paintings with clear contours and unpretentious, down-to-earth colors. Modersohn-Becker used tempera paint, which after drying gives a uniform Matt surface color and severely limit the depth of space. The predominant themes of the works of Becker become still lifes, and images of people, however, she refused accurate detail reproduction of objects and shapes. The paint she put on canvas with wide strokes and used a simple language of forms. His works the artist considered as symbols of the eternity of nature, which she contrasted the frailty of human existence.

1906: Move to Paris. Not able to bear dependence on her husband, Otto Modersohn (married in 1901), in matters of art, modersohn-Becker went to Paris in 1906. Her paintings are disappearing earthy tones (as, for example, in "the Inhabitant of a shelter for the poor with a bottle and a Mac", 1906), the color palette becomes lighter (e.g., "Seated girl posing with a flower", 1907), contrasts become sharper.

Throughout the creative way modersohn-Becker reflected the personal experiences and mood in self portraits. In particular, in Paris appeared "self-Portrait with pearl necklace" (1906) and "self-portrait with a Camellia" (1906/1907), based on the reduced planar shapes and strong colour contrasts. The transfer of the color in her portraits (and still lifes) is more expressive example is the picture "If Hother and his sister" (1906/1907), the main features of which are the bright colors and structure of the strokes. Due to this increased expressiveness of painting Modersohn-Becker.

Familiarity with the paintings of Pablo Picasso simplified bodily form in her works. So, the painting "Mother and child" (1907) parts of the body is depicted schematically, the artist is interested in is already not a detailed drawing of parts and grasp the purest form. The prototype of her artistic language was Roman and drevnerusskoe art.

1907: back in Worpswede. In the spring of 1906 in Paris came to Otto Modersohn. In Easter 1907 he took his pregnant wife back in Worpswede. A few days after fulfilled her longing to become a mother, she died in Worpswede at the age of thirty-one years from blockage of the blood vessels. The artist managed to sell during his life only three of more than four hundred of her paintings gained international recognition only after death.