Walter Leistikow

(Photo: Walter Leistikow, painted by Lovis Corinth, 1893)

Walter Rudolf Leistikow (25 October 1865 – 24 July 1908) was a German artist, painter, etcher and writer from Bromberg in the Prussian Province of Posen, now Bydgoszcz, Poland.

"At age 18 Leistikow left Danzigerstrasse 27 Bromberg (near Posen/Poznan) and arrived by train in Berlin only to find himself dismissed from the government-run Berlin Academy for “lack of talent” shortly after by influential professor Anton von Werner (1843-1915) who was a painter of pompous and historic events. What bad luck and sharper contrast to the young man who was so sensitive and contrary in nature and ambition. ...Lesitikow, eventually abandoned the common practice of adding staffage (human or animal figures) to his landscapes, focusing instead on their own intrinsic strength. His work seems to have a "Scandinavian feel" to it, in terms of tonality... "

"Leistikow lived in Berlin from 1883 onwards. As a committed representative of modern art in Germany, he was among the founding members of the oppositional artists’ group “The XI” in 1892. Under his leadership and that of Max Liebermann, this group opposed the regimented exhibition policy of the Academy. He also played a decisive role in the foundation of the Berlin Secession, a fact triggered by the rejection of one of his paintings in 1898. As in this case, the main motif of his paintings is the melancholy landscape of pines and lakes to be found in the Mark Brandenburg around Berlin. Here, the late-impressionist atmosphere of light in his works is embedded into the composition; the visual motif’s considerable degree of stylisation, e.g. the rhythmic pattern of tree trunks in the foreground and the increasing planar abstraction of the landscape itself, begins to point beyond Impressionism."
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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landscape etching german oil on canvas