Emerging between the waning years of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th, Expressionism stands as a vivid testament to a European movement steeped in emotional resonance and a stark divergence from the preceding art forms. It posed a stark counterpoint to Impressionism, which was focused on the vivid portrayal of sensory impressions, by pivoting towards an art form characterized by profound emotional expression, abstract simplification, bold outlines, and the vivacious power of colors and lines.
Originating as a rebel movement in Germany, Expressionism was a radical departure from the longstanding academic standards that had dominated European art since the Renaissance. It transcended aesthetic conventions to encapsulate raw and elementary experiences of reality with as much vigor and originality as possible. The movement found inspiration in the medieval era's art, drawing upon its unrealistic figures, color tones, and the presence of antique characters and demons, creating a dialogue between the old and the new.
The art community "The Bridge", comprising distinguished artists like Kirchner, Heckel, Schmidt-Rottluff, and Bleyl, was pivotal in birthing Expressionism in 1905. This was a time when Fauvism also emerged in France, albeit without garnering significant international acclaim.
A few years later, in 1911, "The Blue Rider" was established by Kandinsky and Marc and embraced artists like Macke, Jawlensky, Münter, and Klee. The collective embarked on a journey to shatter the pre-existing boundaries of artistic expression, pioneering advancements in abstract painting and enabling the evolution of the Expressionist movement.