September 20, 2021

Art is my way of understanding the world. It is a social process, a human interaction – with society, with myself. Creating art affects how I see the world and gives me the opportunity to express who I am.

What I experience, people I meet – especially those whose lives I am allowed to participate in – music, nature, the salty smell of the sea, a fleeting laugh, the sound of a voice… but also losses, fears, worries, all flow into my art.

Of course, this also includes meeting and engaging with great artists and great art. From the great masters to contemporary art. Here I would like to name 5 artists who impress me again every day.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

Caravaggio, the dramatist 1571 – 1610

Important Italian painter of the early Baroque and founder of the Chiaroscuro technique (light-dark painting).

I’m always learning.”


Caravaggio staged his paintings like plays. His unique use of light and color created contrast and tension.

The illuminated scenes against a dark background, the plastic motifs, the richness of detail – I can never escape Caravaggio’s effect. The protagonists of his painted stories could be set in motion at any moment.

His color palette was rather earthy. In addition to black and white, shades of green and brown often dominate his compositions.

Max Liebermann

Liebermann, the master of light spots 1847 – 1935

An outstanding representative of German Impressionism.

“Impressionism is not – as one must hear or read every day – a direction, but a worldview: everyone can be blessed in it according to his talent.”

– Max Liebermann

Where Caravaggio often uses light like a stage spotlight, Liebermann’s light is natural, alive. The light, breaking through foliage and spilling onto the paths, is simply ravishing!

For me, it has an almost shimmering serenity that immediately connects with the smell of sunlit grass and birdsong.

And this despite the fact that his motifs are typically socially and temporally critical, a depiction of poverty and hard work.

Egon Schiele

Egon Schiele, explicit and uncompromising 1890 – 1918

Austrian expressionist.

“Talent? Yes, far too much of it.”                                           

– Gustav Klimt to Egon Schiele’s question “Do I have talent?”

Egon Schiele’s motifs are often naked, twisted bodies, raw sexuality. He does not embellish anything, on the contrary. His color palette is almost dirty, the materials rough, large-pored paper, and unprimed canvases.

All this creates a high urgency, unsparing and of bewildering intensity.

I am also fascinated by Schiele’s talent for omission, his treatment of space. Whole parts of the paper, of the canvas are left blank, others are transparently colored or punctuated by lines, while others appear opaque and solid, almost representational.

In Schiele’s works, including many self-portraits, I am always struck by how intensively the artist dealt with his inner life.

Francisco de Goya

Francisco de Goya, The incorruptible observer 1746 – 1828

The precursor of realism

“Nobody knows himself.”

– Francesco de Goya

Goya was already successful as a young artist. Despite his incorruptible eye, with which – even as a Spanish court painter – he depicts the bodies and facial features of his monarchs unadorned, many of his early works are richly colored and, for all the subtle ambiguity on the surface, often light-hearted and playful.

In the turmoil of the Napoleonic occupation of Spain, Goya turns this unsparing gaze on the horrors of war. In 1792 he fell seriously ill and became deaf. From then on, his art darkens.

His paintings become nightmarish and gloomy. The unleashed imagination and the creative power of Goya’s art are overwhelming and frightening at the same time.

Amedeo Modigliani

Amedeo Modigliani, the outsider 1884 – 1920

Italian Expressionist.

“If I know your soul, I will paint your eyes.”

– Amedeo Modigliani

Modigliani, the underdog of modernism, devoted his works primarily to the female nude and the portrait.

He defied the common expectations of his time with regard to art and developed his very own, concise style.

It is characterized by overlong necks, blinding, almond-shaped eyes, simplified outlines, and extreme postures that give his works a peculiar, hypnotic pull. I am enchanted by the poetic melancholy that his paintings radiate.

How do you see the world?

I’m happy if you tell me about yourself in the comments. What influences you, what inspires you?

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About the Author Lea Finke

Lea Finke is an artist with all her soul. In her blog, she talks about inspiration, passion, and encounters with art.

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