Lovis Corinth – Three Works on Cruelty and Suffering – Samson, Cain, Christ

In a recent post with oils by Lovis Corinth: “The Many Temptations of St. Anthony the Great (VI)”, I told he deeply changed his painting style after suffering a stroke (in 1911, at 53), which left him partially paralyzed on his left side; also his hands displayed a chronic tremor, and from that impairment, his style loosened and took on many expressionistic qualities. Moreover, beyond the usual energy he had displayed in his work until then, he began to paint with new power; a rare –to me absolutely extraordinary– vitality and intensity.

I have selected three works I like very much, and I display them here in chronological order, so you may readily appreciate the evolution of Corinth’s (Pre)-Expressionism, of which he was one of the most notable forerunners and, in fact, inspirers.

(Note that all three works shown were painted after Corinth’s stroke; it’s also worthy to add that he self-portrayed in the figure of the blinded Samson.)


Der Geblendete Simson – The Blinded Samson (1912)


Lovis_Corinth - Der_geblendete_Simson_adj2 t+4 s+15
Der Geblendete Simson (1912 – oil on canvas, 130 × 105 cm)

[Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Deutschland]


Kain – Cain (1917)


L. Corinth_Cain_1917
Kain (1917 – oil on canvas, 140 × 115 cm)

[Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf, Deutschland]


Der Rote Cristus – The Red Christ (1922)


L. Corinth_Red Christ_1922
Der Rote Cristus (1922 – oil on wood, 129 × 108 cm)

[Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, München, Deutschland]

First image comes from the Google Art Project (edited by me to restore the actual colours –or as close as I’ve been able to)

Second and third images come from Zeno.org (where, BTW, you may find many other oils by this artist, and also drawings and engravings).

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