Wäsche am Strand

Gabriele Münter

Wäsche am Strand

Coloured linocut on fine Japan paper
5 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches (13,9 x 23,4 cm)

Über Gabriele Münter

Born: 1877 in Berlin
Died: 1962 in Murnau

Gabriele Münter is one of the great female artists of German modernism. She was born on February 19, 1877 in Berlin as the youngest daughter of the merchant Carl Friedrich Münter. Her parents encouraged her artistic talent and enabled her to attend a ladies' art school in Düsseldorf. After the early death of her parents, Münter travelled to America, staying with relatives for two years until she was drawn to Munich in 1901, where she met Wassily Kandinsky at the private art school "Phalanx". With him, Münter began an intensive life and artistic relationship, which led her across Europe from 1903 to 1908. The two spend the year 1906/07 in Paris, where they met the artistic avant-garde. Back in Germany, a productive period began. The couple spent the summers in Murnau at Staffelsee (in Bavaria), where Münter bought a house in Kottmüllerstrasse in 1909. This house, popularly known as the "Russenhaus" (Russian House) due to the time she spent there with Kandinsky and his Russian companions, Marianne von Werefkin and Alexej von Jawlensky, evolved into an artists' meeting place: Franz Marc and August Macke were also frequent visitors and the almanac "Der Blaue Reiter" (The Blue Rider) originated here. In the impressive scenery of the Upper Bavarian Prealps, Münter developed her own distinctive visual language which was also influenced by her interest in reverse glass painting, typical for this region. In 1911/12 she achieved her artistic breakthrough by participating in the two exhibitions of the "Blauer Reiter". The First World War ended this fruitful period and also brought about the separation from Kandinsky. After years in Scandinavia and a restless itinerant life in Germany, Münter resettled permanently in Murnau again in 1930 with her second partner, art historian Johannes Eichner. She lived and worked there until her death in 1962.