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Maria Caspar-Filser

Maria Caspar-Filser

*  1878 Riedlingen
† 1968 Brannenburg

Maria Filser was born in a period in which the French Impressionists were fighting for recognition of their emotional and atmospheric painting. Maria Filser grew up in southern Germany, in idyllic regions which influenced the artist considerably. A close friendship developed from early childhood with the neighbour's son Carl Caspar, whom she later also met at the Stuttgart Academy where she began studying in 1896. They remained together and married in 1907. Her early works, painted under Professor Keller, show that she was also influenced by the new method of plein-air painting and the gradual abandonment of figurative painting. Maria Caspar-Filser spent a few months in Munich, attending a course under Ludwig Herterich. In 1905 Maria and Carl travelled to Paris where they studied avant-garde painting and were fascinated with the Impressionists. She was equally impressed by paintings by Cézanne: Maria Caspar-Filser understood whose striving to transform the 'world of light' of the Impressionists into a 'world of colour'. This revelation as well as van Gogh's style played a decisive role in her further development. After their marriage, the couple Caspar-Filser lived in Munich, Balingen, Gottlieben in Switzerland and, from 1909, once again in Munich. Both joined the 'Deutscher Künstlerbund' and regularly exhibited in the association's shows until 1936. In 1913 Maria Caspar-Filser was the only female founding member of the 'Münchener Neue Sezession'. Her paintings from this period reveal that she no longer intended to depict a landscape in a naturalistic way, but that she strove to create a colour composition. This idea is supported by a Villa-Romana-Prize, enabling a sojourn in Italy where she could experience the southern light and colours. The artist was invited into the 'Berliner Sezession' by Corinth in 1916. Maria Caspar-Filser and her husband worked together in Munich from 1922 onwards, where she gradually became known as an artist. The artist presented her style - somewhere beyond Impressionism and Expressionism, a balance between abstract and figurative forms - at the Biennale in Venice between 1924 and 1928. She was the first German woman painter to be offered a professorship. Then followed a period of increasing National Socialist defamation and finally an exhibition stop in 1936. After sojourns in Italy and Switzerland the Caspar-Filsers finally retreated to the Inn valley into an inner emigration. After the war Maria Caspar-Filser was an important personality in the revival of the new art scene. She was a founding member of the Munich group 'Neue Gruppe' in 1947 and supported the re-formation of the 'Deutscher Künstlerbund' in 1950.