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[Ger. lee-buhr-mahn]
Liebermann, Max, 1847-1935, German genre painter and etcher. He went to Paris in 1873, where he was impressed by the Barbizon school of painters. In Holland he was influenced by Frans Hals and Jozef Israëls. His early works were realistic, but beginning about 1890 he developed a style closely related to impressionism. As leader of the Berlin secession group (1898-1910), he was instrumental in bringing French impressionism to Germany, where younger artists were already moving toward expressionism. Liebermann depicted the life of the working classes, landscapes, outdoor group studies, and painted more than 200 portraits. A secular Jew and one of his country's most honored artists, he was president of the Prussian Academy of Arts (1920-32) during the Weimar Republic. In his last year, however, he was forbidden to paint by the Nazis and his works were removed from museums and private collections. His painting The Ropewalk in Edam (1904) is in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

See B. C. Gilbert, ed., Max Liebermann: From Realism to Impressionism (2005).

The Liebermann-Villa is the former summer residence of the German painter Max Liebermann. It is located directly at the shores of lake Wannsee in Berlin. It is open to public after renovation since April, 30 2006 and shows a collection of Liebermanns' paintings of his villa and its garden.


Max Liebermann

Max Liebermann (1847-1937) was co-founder and head of the Berlin Secession and head of the Prussian academy of arts (Preußische Akademie der Künste). By the nazis he was dismissed in 1933 and banned. In his villa he painted about 200 pictures of his garden, some of which are exhibited in his former studio in the upper floor.

The Villa

In 1909 he bought a narrow piece of land with direct access to the shores of lake Wannsee in Berlin to escape from the noisy city of Berlin. He lived there in the summer months from 1910 on. The villa was built by the architect Paul Otto Baumgarten. Liebermann called it his "little castle by the lake".

The Garden

The lengthy garden is divided into two by the villa itself. From the center of the villa there is am marvellous view over the grass to the lake Wannsee. In front of the house in direction to Wannsee there is a garden terrace. On one side of the grass there is the famous birch path, the birches growing freely and unstructured. On the other side there are three hedged gardens. In the rear of the villa there is the garden house and the area for useful plants.


Permanent exhibition

In the former studio in the upper floor there are shown about 40 paintings related to the garden and the villa. In the ground floor there is a documentation of the family Liebermann and of the building. There are documents of how the nazis brought his wife Martha Liebermann to sell her villa. In the end she got nothing from the already humble sum. She was driven to suicide, as deportation to Theresienstadt concentration camp was to become imminent.

Museums' concept

The museum is assisted by the Max-Liebermann-Gesellschaft Berlin e. V. to take care of the villa and the garden and to switch them to the original state of Liebermanns' time. Paintings of the garden and the villa are presented continuously. Visitors learn to apreciate the serenity and spirit of Liebermanns' villa and find to his thinking and painting.


  • (de) Nina Nedelykov u. Pedro Moreira (Hgg.): Zurück am Wannsee. Max Liebermanns Sommerhaus. Transit Buchverlag: Berlin 2003; ISBN 3-88747-181-4.
  • (de) Ingo Krüger: Landhäuser und Villen in Berlin & Potsdam - Nr. 3: Großer Wannsee, Colonie Alsen, Villa Liebermann. Delmenhorst: Aschenbeck & Holstein, 2005
  • (de) Max Liebermann Villa am Wannsee Berlin. In: Die Neuen Architekturführer Nr. 82, Stadtwandel Verlag, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-937123-88-1 (20-seitige Broschüre über die Nutzung und die Eröffnung als Museum).

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