Famous German Artists

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 1 
Max Ernst
(Primary Pioneer of the 'Dada Movement' and 'Surrealism' Known for His Work 'A Week of Kindness')
Max Ernst
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1891
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brühl, Germany
Died: April 1, 1976

Max Ernst was a German painter, graphic artist, sculptor, and poet. A pioneer of the Dada movement, Ernst played an important role in popularizing surrealism during the early-20th century. He is also credited with inventing a couple of techniques, namely frottage and grattage. In 2005, the Max Ernst Museum was opened in his honor in Brühl, Germany.

 2 
Gerhard Richter
(German Visual Artist)
Gerhard Richter
4
Birthdate: February 9, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany

German visual artist Gerhard Richter started out as a Social Realist painter and was later exposed to avant-garde art. He mastered the art of painting scenes collected from newspapers and magazines, including terrorists and serial killer victims. He later also worked on stained-glass design and abstract art.

 3 
E. T. A. Hoffmann
4
Birthdate: January 24, 1776
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Königsberg, Germany
Died: June 25, 1822

E. T. A. Hoffmann was a German author, jurist, artist, composer, and music critic. His stories served as an inspiration and laid the foundation for The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach. The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is also based on Hoffmann's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Hoffmann is among the most influential authors of the Romantic Movement.

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 4 
Otto Dix
(German Painter Known for His Ruthless and Harshly Realistic Depictions of German Society During the Weimar Republic)
Otto Dix
4
Birthdate: December 2, 1891
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Gera, Germany
Died: July 25, 1969

German painter, engraver and printmaker Otto Dix, counted among the most significant artists of Neue Sachlichkeit, is noted for his harsh and brutal depictions of war and severe situation of German society during the Weimar Republic. Some of his paintings, exhibited in Otto Dix House, which showcases materials on his life and work, include Selbstbildnis als Rauchern and Meine Freundin Elis.  

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 5 
Albert Bierstadt
(Painter)
Albert Bierstadt
4
Birthdate: January 7, 1830
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Solingen, Germany
Died: February 18, 1902

Landscape painter Albert Bierstadt immortalized the natural attractions of the American West, such as the Rocky Mountains, in his works. One of the finest painters of the Hudson River school, he specialized in paintings that showcased bright lighting, or luminism, and created over 500 paintings throughout his career.

 6 
Käthe Kollwitz
(German Artist Known for Depicting Poverty, Hunger and War in Her Works 'The Weavers' and 'The Peasant War')
Käthe Kollwitz
4
Birthdate: July 8, 1867
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Königsberg, Russia
Died: April 22, 1945

Noted for series like Weavers’ Revolt and Peasants’ War, sculptor and graphic artist, Käthe Kollwitz, came in contact with the urban poor when she moved into Berlin's working class area. Touched by their plight, she soon started portraying them through her etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and drawings, quickly becoming a powerful advocate for those suffering from social injustice, war, and inhumanity.

 7 
William Alexander
(German Painter and Television Host )
William Alexander
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1915
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: East Prussia
Died: January 24, 1997

William Alexander was a German painter, television host, and art instructor. He is credited with creating the popular television series, The Magic of Oil Painting, which he hosted from 1974 to 1982 on PBS in the USA. Bill Alexander is also credited with teaching Bob Ross his signature wet-on-wet technique.

 8 
Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse
(Artist)
Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse
4
Birthdate: November 25, 1868
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Darmstadt, Germany
Died: October 9, 1937
Ernest Louis, Grand Duke of Hesse was the son of Louis IV and Princess Alice and the grandson of Queen Victoria of England. An art lover, he established the Darmstadt Artists’ Colony for artists and craftsmen, and patronized the artists of the art nouveau Jugendstil movement. 
 9 
Karl Wallenda
(German-American High Wire Artist)
Karl Wallenda
4
Birthdate: January 21, 1905
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
Died: March 22, 1978
 10 
Franz Marc
(German Painter, Printmaker and One of the Key Figures of German Expressionism)
Franz Marc
3
Birthdate: February 8, 1880
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: March 4, 1916

Best known as one of the founders of the German Expressionist group The Blue Rider, German painter Franz Marc mostly depicted animals through his works. The Tower of Blue Horses and Yellow Cow are two of his notable works. Children and the mentally disabled also appeared as his subjects.

 11 
Walter Sickert
(Painter)
Walter Sickert
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1860
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Munich
Died: January 22, 1942

Part of the Camden Town Group of painters, who showcased both Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, German-born British painter Walter Sickert liked painting both people and scenes. His work Jack the Ripper's Bedroom gave rise to speculations that he could have been either the killer or his accomplice.

 12 
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
(German Expressionist Painter and Printmaker Who was One of the Founders of the Artists Group 'Die Brücke')
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
3
Birthdate: May 6, 1880
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Aschaffenburg, Germany
Died: June 15, 1938

One of the pioneers of Expressionism, German painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner co-established the artists’ group Die Brücke, or The Bridge. His iconic works such as Girl under Japanese Umbrella and Street, Berlin displayed psychological and erotic themes. Declared a "degenerate" by the Nazis, he later committed suicide.

 13 
Astrid Kirchherr
(German Photographer and Artist)
Astrid Kirchherr
4
Birthdate: May 20, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: May 12, 2020

Astrid Kirchherr was a German photographer and artist who was famous for the photographs she took of the original band members of the Beatles. She wanted to study fashion designing as a young woman but shifted to photography at the recommendation of a teacher. She later became acquainted with the Beatles and took several iconic photographs of them. 

 14 
Anselm Kiefer
(German Painter and Sculptor)
Anselm Kiefer
4
Birthdate: March 8, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Donaueschingen, Germany

German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, counted among leading figures of the Neo-Expressionist art movement of the late 20th century, is noted for his works like The Hierarchy of Angels (painting), The Secret Life of Plants (sculpture) and Grane (woodcut). Themes of Kiefer were often influenced by the spiritual concepts of Kabbalah, horror of the Holocaust and poems of Paul Celan.

 15 
Sandro Kopp
(Visual Artist)
Sandro Kopp
5
Birthdate: February 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Heildelberg

German/New Zealand visual artist Sandro Kopp is based in Scotland and explores “mediated presence.” His work merges new-age digital elements with classical painting. He is also known as the boyfriend of Academy Award-winning actor Tilda Swinton. His works have been exhibited all across the globe, including France and Italy.

 16 
Kurt Schwitters
(German Artist Best Known for His Collages and Relief Constructions)
Kurt Schwitters
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: January 8, 1948

German artist and poet Kurt Schwitters, known for collage, artist's book, installation, sculpture and poetry, is noted for his collages and relief-constructions. Schwitters planned a Dada section in Hanover and the Merz art-style traces back to him, which he found by chance while forming a collage with the German word Kommerz. One of his notable works is Das Undbild, 1919.

 17 
Eva Hesse
(American Sculptor)
Eva Hesse
3
Birthdate: January 11, 1936
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hamburg, GermanyEva Hesse
Died: May 29, 1970

Born in Germany, Eva Hesse moved with her family to England, and then to the U.S., in a bid to escape the Nazi regime. Her death due to brain tumor at age 34 cut short her dynamic career. A sculptor and painter, she experimented with media such latex, metal, and mesh.

 18 
George Grosz
(German Artist Best Known for His Caricatural Drawings and Paintings of Berlin Life in the 1920s)
George Grosz
3
Birthdate: July 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: July 6, 1959

German Expressionist artist George Grosz, later a naturalized US citizen, is most noted for his caricatural drawings and paintings of Berlin life. A leading member of the Berlin Dada and New Objectivity groups during the Weimar Republic, Grosz later departed from his earlier style and subjects and taught at the Art Students League of New York for several years.  

 19 
Oskar Schlemmer
(Artist and Choreographer Known for His Association with the 'Bauhaus School' & His Ballet 'Triadisches Ballett')
Oskar Schlemmer
4
Birthdate: September 4, 1888
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Germany
Died: April 13, 1943

German painter and sculptor Oskar Schlemmer had gained fame both for his paintings and for his choreographed avant-garde ballet productions such as Triadisches Ballett. He was a major influence behind bringing modern art exhibitions to the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Art. He had also served in World War I.

 20 
Andreas Gursky
(German Photographer and Professor)
Andreas Gursky
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany

Known for his blatant use of digital manipulation and unique compositional strategies, Andreas Gursky is one of the most pricey, yet bestselling photographers of our time, with his best known work, Rhein II, fetching $4.3 million in 2011.  The first to produce large prints, measuring 6 × 8 feet or more, he also taught fine arts at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

 21 
Wolfgang Beltracchi
(Art forger, Artist, Painter, Sculptor, Writer)
Wolfgang Beltracchi
3
Birthdate: February 4, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Höxter

German art-forger and artist Wolfgang Beltracchi gained notoriety for his involvement in an international art scam where he forged paintings of famous artists like Max Ernst, Fernand Léger, Heinrich Campendonk, and Kees van Dongen and sold them to make profits that surpassed $100m. Beltracchi and his wife, Helene, were found guilty and were given six-year and four-year prison terms respectively.

 22 
Paula Modersohn-Becker
(Painter and one of the most important representatives of early expressionism)
Paula Modersohn-Becker
4
Birthdate: February 8, 1876
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Friedrichstadt, Dresden, Germany
Died: November 21, 1907
 23 
Max Beckmann
(German Expressionist Painter and Printmaker)
Max Beckmann
3
Birthdate: February 12, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: December 27, 1950

Max Beckmann was a German painter, sculptor, draftsman, printmaker, and writer. Even though scholars classify him as an Expressionist artist, he personally never identified as one. He became involved with the New Objectivity movement in the 1920s. He taught at the St. Louis School of Fine Arts at Washington University in his last years.

 24 
Hannah Höch
(German Dada Artis Known for Her Work of the Weimar Period and One of the Originators of 'Photomontage')
Hannah Höch
3
Birthdate: November 1, 1889
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gotha, Germany
Died: May 31, 1978

Apart from being the only female member of the Berlin Dada group, German artist Hannah Höch was also the pioneer of the photomontage form of art. Her works explored the sexually and financially independent New Woman and challenged gender stereotypes. She also experimented with textiles and patterns.

 25 
Wolfgang Tillmans
(Photographer)
Wolfgang Tillmans
3
Birthdate: August 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Remscheid

Wolfgang Tillmans is a German photographer best known for his diverse body of work. A highly acclaimed photographer, Tillmans has won many awards, such as the Hasselblad Award. In 2000, Wolfgang Tillmans became the first photographer and the first non-British person to be honored with the prestigious Turner Prize.

 26 
Matthias Grünewald
(German Renaissance Painter)
Matthias Grünewald
3
Birthdate: 1470 AD
Birthplace: Würzburg, Germany
Died: August 31, 1528

German Renaissance painter Matthias Grünewald, also known as Master Mathis, was the court painter of the elector of Mainz. His drawings were mostly made in black chalk. Of his religious works, the Isenheim Altarpiece still survives, though most of his works were destroyed in the Thirty Years' War.

 27 
Charlotte Salomon
(German-Jewish Artist)
Charlotte Salomon
3
Birthdate: April 16, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: October 10, 1943

German Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon was killed along with her unborn child by the Nazis at Auschwitz when she was barely 26. Her haunting memoir, Life? or Theater?, provides a graphic portrayal of her life through innovative transparencies and signature images. Its subtitle, singspiel, signifies it was a light opera.

 28 
Emil Nolde
(One of the First Expressionists Painter, Printmaker and a Member of 'Die Brücke')
Emil Nolde
3
Birthdate: August 7, 1867
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Denmark
Died: April 13, 1956

German-Danish painter, watercolourist and printmaker Emil Nolde is counted among the first Expressionists and oil painting and watercolour painters of the early 20th-century who explored colour. He was a Die Brücke member and is noted for his expressive choice of colours, his brushwork, and his violent religious works. Notable works of Nolde include Lesende junge Frau and Blumen und Wolken.

 29 
Hans Memling
(German Painter Who Worked in the Tradition of Early Netherlandish Painting)
Hans Memling
3
Birthdate: 1430 AD
Birthplace: Seligenstadt, Germany
Died: August 11, 1494

Hans Memling was a 15th-century painter who worked in the tradition of Early Netherlandish painting. He trained in the Brussels workshop of prominent painter Rogier van der Weyden. With time, he became one of the leading artists in the region and ran a large workshop. He was extremely successful and died a wealthy man. 

 30 
Gabriele Münter
(German Expressionist Painter)
Gabriele Münter
4
Birthdate: February 19, 1877
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: May 19, 1962

Gabriele Munter was a German expressionist painter who led the Munich avant-garde movement in the early 20th century. She began to draw as a child and was supported in her ambitions by her parents. She went on to have a successful career and became a founding member of the expressionist group Der Blaue Reiter. She lived with painter Wassily Kandinsky.  

 31 
Franz Xaver Winterhalter
(German Painter and Lithographer Known for His Flattering Portraits of Royalty and Upper-Class Society)
Franz Xaver Winterhalter
4
Birthdate: April 20, 1805
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Menzenschwand, Sankt Blasien, Germany
Died: July 8, 1873

Born to a farmer in Germany’s Black Forest, Franz Xaver Winterhalter was initially trained as a lithographer. The nineteenth-century German painter later gained fame for his paintings and portraits of Europe’s royalty and aristocracy. Among his subjects were Queen Victoria of England and Elizabeth of Austria.

 32 
John Heartfield
(Photographer, Painter, Poster artist)
John Heartfield
4
Birthdate: June 19, 1891
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Schmargendorf
Died: April 26, 1968

John Heartfield was a German visual artist. He is credited to have pioneered the use of art as a political weapon. He used photomontages to satirize Adolf Hitler and depict his anti-Nazi and anti-fascist sentiments. He studied at the Royal Bavarian Arts and Crafts School and went on to launch a publishing house, Malik-Verlag, with his brother.  

 33 
August Macke
(German Expressionist Painter Known for His Colorful Landscape Paintings)
August Macke
4
Birthdate: January 3, 1887
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Meschede, Germany
Died: September 26, 1914

A leader of the Expressionist group The Blue Rider, German artist August Macke had initially drawn inspiration from his amateur artist father’s paintings. His works, such as Three Girls in a Barque, focused on human subjects and mingled German and French traditions. He was killed while fighting in World War I.

 34 
Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis
(Entrepreneur)
Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis
4
Birthdate: February 23, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg West Germany

German socialite and philanthropist Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis, or Princess TNT, had met her husband, Prince Johannes, when she was 19 and he was 53. Following his death, she was faced with a $500 million debt, sold off her riches, and became a Catholic activist.  

 35 
Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
(German Visual Artist and Poet)
Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1874
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Swinoujscie, Poland
Died: December 14, 1927

Part of the German avant-garde movement and a prominent Dadaist, poet and artist Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is best remembered for her sound poetry and her posthumously published book Body Sweats. It is believed the famous urinal Fountain sculpture thought to be a work of Marcel Duchamp was actually created by Elsa.

 36 
Max Liebermann
(German Painter Who Is Known for His Naturalistic Studies of the Life and Labour of the Poor)
Max Liebermann
3
Birthdate: July 20, 1847
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: February 8, 1935

Although considered the foremost promoter of Impressionism in Germany, painter and printmaker Max Liebermann never fully detached himself from his subject matters.  Known for his works on the life and labor of the poor, including peasants, urban laborers, and orphans, portraying their plight through paintings like The Flax Spinners., he successfully maintained the narrative tradition of the German art.   

 37 
Lothar-Günther Buchheim
(Author)
Lothar-Günther Buchheim
3
Birthdate: February 6, 1918
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Weimar, Germany
Died: February 22, 2007
 38 
Georg Baselitz
(German Neo-Expressionist Artist Best Known for Painting and Exhibiting Many of His Works Upside Down)
Georg Baselitz
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1938
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kamenz, Germany

Georg Baselitz is a German painter, sculptor, and graphic artist known for his figurative, expressive paintings. He grew up in the wake of World War II, and the concept of destruction is an underlying theme seen in many of his works. He is known for inverting all his paintings. He is a recipient of the Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur

 39 
Anni Albers
(German Textile Artist and Printmaker Known for Her Pioneering Graphic Wall Hangings, Weavings, and Designs)
Anni Albers
3
Birthdate: June 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: May 9, 1994

German-born American textile designer Anni Albers redefined textile arts in the 20th century. While studying painting initially, she had reluctantly joined a weaving workshop, considered a woman’s art back then, and ended up being inspired by it. She and her husband later fled to the U.S. to escape the Nazi regime.

 40 
Heinrich Lossow
(Painter)
Heinrich Lossow
2
Birthdate: March 10, 1843
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: May 19, 1897
 41 
Peter Behrens
(Poster artist, Architect, Typographer, Painter, Designer, Graphic designer, University teacher)
Peter Behrens
3
Birthdate: April 14, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamburg
Died: February 27, 1940

Considered one of the pioneers of industrial design, German architect Peter Behrens had built his own house and all his furniture at the Darmstadt artists’ colony. The AEG Turbine Factory was one of his best-known works, and he had also designed their electric fans, lamps, and retail shops.

 42 
Hans Bellmer
(German Artist Best Known for the Life-Sized Pubescent Female Dolls He Produced in the Mid-1930s)
Hans Bellmer
3
Birthdate: March 13, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Katowice, Poland
Died: February 24, 1975

German Surrealist artist Hans Bellmer is best known for his life-sized female dolls and erotic photography. He released the anonymous book Die Puppe. It is believed some of his dolls featured grotesque additions to reflect the Nazi obsession with perfection. He also collaborated with Unica Zürn for a bizarre photo series.

 43 
Hermann Zapf
(Type designer, Graphic designer, Calligrapher, University teacher, Postage stamp designer, Painter)
Hermann Zapf
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nuremberg
Died: June 4, 2015
 44 
Lyonel Feininger
(Painter)
Lyonel Feininger
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1871
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: January 13, 1956
 45 
Emanuel Leutze
(Painter best known for his 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware)
Emanuel Leutze
2
Birthdate: May 24, 1816
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany
Died: July 18, 1868
 46 
August Natterer
(Artist)
August Natterer
3
Birthdate: August 3, 1868
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ravensburg, Germany
Died: October 7, 1933
 47 
Wolfgang Joop
Wolfgang Joop
2
 48 
Carl Spitzweg
(Painter)
Carl Spitzweg
3
Birthdate: February 5, 1808
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Germering, Germany
Died: September 23, 1885
 49 
Franz Stuck
(Known for his paintings of ancient mythology, receiving substantial critical acclaim with The Sin in 1892)
Franz Stuck
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1863
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Tettenweis, Germany
Died: August 30, 1928
 50 
August Sander
August Sander
2