The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

February 19, 2017

February 19, 1877

Gabriele Munter (February 19, 1877 to May 19, 1962), the German painter, is discussed in this article.

A well known contributor to German Expressionism, Gabriele Munter came to Munich in 1901 to study art, and in 1902 became a pupil of the great Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944). In 1903 they became lovers and for the next thirteen years were inseparable. During the summer of 1908, which she spent in Murnau with Kandinsky, along with Alexei von Jawlensky (1864-1941) and his Russian lover Marianne Werefkin (1870-1938), she finally found her individual style - a form of expressionism combining Bavarian folk art, stained glass work, and luminous blocks of colour. .... In 1909 she was co-founder of the New Artists' Association in Munich, a member of the German Expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter, and a participant in all major shows of avant-garde art (including the two Blaue Reiter exhibitions) in Germany until 1914. In that year Kandinsky had to leave Germany. Munter met him once more in Stockholm before they finally parted in 1916. After the war she settled in Murnau where she lived a secluded life....
.[Murnau is south of Munich, and near the Alps.]

Although Munter deferred inevitably to her older and more creative partner, right from the beginning she had her own style of painting, which may have influenced Kandinsky's own vision - and may even have become an issue between them. For instance, while she was interested in Kandinsky's passion for abstract art, her own 20th-century paintings remained firmly figurative.

..... In 1927 she met the German art historian Johannes Eichner, who became her lifelong companion. The two settled in Murnau, where Munter lived and worked until her death. Despite the Nazi ban on modern art and the closure of her 1937 exhibition at the Munich Art Association (Kunstverein Munchner) because of her "Degenerate Art" (
entartete kunst), she continued to produce a variety of work, including portraiture, genre paintings and still lifes.

In 1956 she was awarded the Culture Prize in Painting by the city of Munich. In 1957, on the occasion of her 80th birthday, she donated an outstanding collection of almost 200 paintings (120 by Kandinsky, 60 by herself) to the city of Munich. In the same year, the Stadtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus in Munich held a major retrospective of her painting. In 1960 she had her first solo art show in the United States, and in 1961 she had an important show at the Mannheim Kunsthalle. She died in her house at Murnau on 19 May 1962.

This is her 1930 "Still Life with Black Cat."

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