In Dongen in the summer of 1881, Liebermann painted his Cobbler’s Workshop, completing it in two weeks. He had already seen the work shop and had decided to paint it a year before. During the winter he had made an oil study, followed by studies of models . Now he returned well prepared, with a suitable wood panel, to revive his first, fresh impressions. In 1882 he sent the painting to the Paris Exhibition. There it was bought by the singer and collector Jean-Baptiste Faure, from whom it was later acquired by the National galerie. Faure was an early promoter of French Impressionism. While Liebermann was not typical of the artists in his collection, the presence of this painting shows that, in this image of work drenched in light, Faure, the connoisseur, recognized Liebermann’s incipient move towards the principles of Impressionism. There are no echoes here of the some what oppressive half-light of Women Plucking Geese. Light pours in through the window and visibly flows round figures and objects alike.


  • Title: Cobbler’s Workshop
  • Creator: Max Liebermann
  • Date Created: 1881/1882
  • Physical Dimensions: w80.0 x h64.0 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Technique and material: Oil on wood
  • Inv.-No.: A I 644
  • ISIL-No.: DE-MUS-815114
  • External link: Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyrights: Text: © Prestel Verlag / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Photo: © b p k - Photo Agency / Alte Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Andres Kilger
  • Collection: Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Acquired 1899
  • Artist biography: Max Liebermann was a German-Jewish painter and printmaker. Together with Lovis Corinth and Max Slevogt he was a key figure in German Impressionism. After having studied law and philosophy at the Berlin’s Humboldt University, he began his training as an artist, first in Weimar (in 1869), then in Paris, as well as in the Netherlands (from 1876 to 1877), during which time he copied the works of Frans Hals. After having served in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71) he made his first journey to Italy to study the compositions of Carvaggio and Bellini. He lived and worked in Munich before finally settling down permanently in Berlin. It was here that he became famous for his portraits, mostly of the bourgeoisie, which were deeply influenced by Édouard Manet. Liebermann became the leader of the Berlin Secession in 1899 and president of the Prussian Academy of Arts in 1920. He is known for such works as the 'Bathing Boys' (1900).
  • Artist Place of Death: Berlin, Germany
  • Artist Place of Birth: Berlin, Germany
  • Artist Dates: 1847-07-20/1935-02-08

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