German artist Erwin Starker brought the verve and vivacity of nature to his landscape paintings. Working in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Starker was swept up in and participated in the dissemination of new styles of artistic practice. He was a pioneer of impressionism in Germany.
The desire to create paintings celebrating the true spirit of nature, capturing its transcendental existence, first emerged in Paris before flooding through Europe during the second half of the 19th century. Starker was one of the first to properly establish the movement in his homeland of Germany, specifically in the Swabian region.
His quick, lively brushstrokes translate his surroundings with the spirit of his age, instilling them with a new energy of being.
Rippling grass spans his canvases in flicks of pastel colours. Clouds swan elegantly across cerulean skies or swamp winter scenes with grey tones like thick fog.
Starker was ensuring his homeland was not consigned to older styles, and he celebrated his region with a modernity complimenting its nature.
Starker’s inspiration was first cultivated during his studies at the Stuttgart Art Academy. Here he studied under Albert Kappis (1836-1914), a landscape artist whose trips to France instilled in him a passion for impressionism. This new style he would then encourage in his students, such as Starker. He was later taught by Gustav Schönleber (1851-1917), a pioneer of impressionism in Germany.
After this time, Starker himself travelled to Paris and other areas of Europe, perhaps keen to witness the developments in art for himself. It was not long, however, before he returned to the Swabian region, settling first in the city of Stuttgart and then in the rural town of Ditzingen. Apart from the disruptions of the First World War, here Starker would remain to faithfully produce visions of his homeland’s natural beauty.
A number of his works are now displayed in museums in Ditzingen and Stuttgart. His part in the celebration of the Swabian region is assured.
Born in Stuttgart
Began studying at Stuttgart Art Academy.
Began studying at Karlsruhe Art Academy.
Began exhibiting his work in Stuttgart.
Married Emma Jehle.
Moved to Ditzingen.
Drafted in the German Army.
Died in Ditzingen. Buried in Fangelsbach cemetery, Stuttgart.