Leibl credited his rigorous adherence to truth with the emergence of a distinct and modern form of figure painting in which faithfulness to nature and the study of the Old Masters are fully translated into the medium of art. For Leibl, what matters is to ‘see well’ – to reproduce a model without embellishment, close nature and its environment and^free from ‘isms’ and ideologies.
That view is just as relevant today: Leibl’s approach to art, in which self-criticism, destruction and innovation are the driving forces, has influenced not just Corinth, Liebermann, Beckmann and Kollwitz but also Maria Lassnig, Max Buri and Wolfgang Tillmans.
The more than 60 drawings and more than 40 paintings by Leibl assembled at the Kunsthaus Zürich include some rarely seen loans from Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and the US.
The exhibition is a collaboration with the Albertina, Vienna, where it travels to after it closes in Zurich.
Curators: Marianne von Manstein and Bernhard von Waldkirch
Wilhelm Leibl, Dr. Reindl in der Laube, about 1890, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich