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A new art movement called expressionism began to spread in Central Europe at the beginning of the 20 th century. Its name comes from the Latin expressio (expression). This definition was given by a Czech art expert Antonín Matějček

And expressionist painters expressed themselves in various ways. The main peculiarity of their art is that the artist doesn’t try to convey the reality as much as to emphasize the emotional component of the moment captured.

Artists tried to depict the most emotional moments of life. To show emotions in their artworks they often depicted cry, despair, and pain. In that era, however, it seemed difficult to reach out to sophisticated public with a fundamentally new message.

What feelings did artists arouse in art lovers? Bright, contrasting colors or deliberate dullness and fadedness, storm of emotions, deformed figures and faces. All these appeared to be symbolic. A new century was beginning, and it began with paintings showing despair. Those artists tried to predict the future. Alas, they were not mistaken. Some expressionist artists were killed in the World War I.

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Of course, the most famous expressionism artwork is The Scream by the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. It produced a great number of citations and parodies, its image can be even recognized in one of emoticons applied in electronic messaging. The creator of The Scream is rightfully considered the founder of expressionism. In his artworks, strong emotions were expressed not only through certain characters, but also through color dissonance, contours and lines of images.

German-Danish artist Emil Nolde was one of the first expressionist painters. His paintings created in different genres are distinguished by expressive colors and energetic painting style.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner is one of the founders of expressionism. His artworks are notable for emotional tension, angular features, and bright colors. Although the master borrowed some art techniques from the peoples of Oceania, he developed his own painting style. His paintings are dominated by urban landscape.

Probably very few connoisseurs of painting have the courage to use classical paintings of expressionist artists to decorate their home. Expressionism artworks are now put up for sale for a fantastic sum of money.

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When an Austrian artist, who later waged the bloodiest war of the century, came to power in 1933, expressionism was declared degenerate art.

The artists, who gave up on Adolf and his tastes, moved across the ocean, where some of them went to Hollywood, and even contributed to making first noir films and horror films. But true art never gives up easily.

In late 1970s, the interest in the work of the masters of this art movement returned. One of the leading expressionist painters and playwriters of the beginning of the century Oscar Kokoschka even lived up to this wonderful time.

Key words characterizing expressionist painting are despair, exaltation, irrationality, deformation, angularity, grotesque. And scream, of course.

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