Though they don’t seen to enjoy the mainstream popularity of their Italian, French and Flemish colleagues, over the centuries many great artists have called Germany home. The places where they lived shaped and influenced their work. Some of their houses are still in historic condition and open to visitors.
• A collection of works by Albrecht Duerer can be viewed in the Nürnberg house where he lived from 1509 to 1528. His wood cuttings and altar pieces from that period achieved a worldwide renown they have never lost. Today the house hosts a museum and visitors can tour Duerer’s workshop and living facilities. Guided tours are offered in English. nuernberg.de/internet/stadtportal_e/
• Expressionist Emil Nolde, an important member of the Brücke movement, settled in Seebuell, a small village in northern Germany near Denmark. The flower garden of the house he designed in 1927 was the subject of some of his most famous paintings. The home’s angles and shapes reflect the Bauhaus architecture of the ’20s and each window on the ground floor, where Nolde’s studio was located, offers a view of the garden. The house, which contains a collection of his work, is open to the public.
• Max Liebermann was one of the most influential painters of German Impressionism. He lived most of his life in Berlin and, in 1909, began work on his summerhouse, a villa on Lake Wannsee, where he lived and worked from 1910 until his death. His garden was the subject of more than 200 paintings and today the Liebermann Villa is a magnificent museum celebrating its 100th anniversary.
• A renowned German expressionist* painter is Paula Modersohn-Becker. The last creative years of her life, until her death in 1907, were spent in the artist colony of Worpswede near Bremen. Her home has been accurately restored and is open to visitors. The connected museum exhibits paintings by Modersohn-Becker and fellow artists. worpswede.de/index_eng.html
* The difference between Impressionism and Expressionism? Here’s one explanation: if it looks like something real but is not too detailed, it’s Impressionism. If it doesn’t look like much of anything it’s Expressionism.