Expressionism is an art movement of the early 20th century in which traditional adherence to realism was replaced by the artist’s emotional connection to the subject.
Unlike Impressionism, the goals of expressionism were not to reproduce the impression suggested by the surrounding world, but to strongly impose the artist’s own sensibility to the world’s representation.
These paintings, like that of Vasily Kandinsky above, are often abstract, with the subject matter distorted in colour and form to emphasize the intense emotion of the artist.
The search for harmony and form is not as important as trying to achieve the highest expressive intensity.
Expressionism assessed itself mostly in Germany in 1910. As an international movement, expressionism has also been thought of as inheriting from certain medieval artforms and, more directly, Cezanne, Gauguin, Van Gogh and the fauvism movement.
The most well known German expressionists are Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Lionel Feininger, George Grosz, Ernst August Macke, and the Norwegian Edvard Munch is also related to this movement.
During his stay in Germany, the Russian Vasily Kandinsky was also an expressionism addict.