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Art of Germany – From the Middle Ages to the Third Reich: A Three Part Course with Sabry Amroussi

Art of Germany – From the Middle Ages to the Third Reich: A Three Part Course with Sabry Amroussi


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In a three-part epic journey through a 500–year artistic legacy, Sabry Amroussi explores the surprises, beauty, and wonder of German art. 

The fascinating course takes us from the towering cathedral of Cologne, the woodcuts of Albrecht Dürer, and paintings of Grünewald to the gothic fairytale Neuschwanstein Castle, the Baltic landscapes of Caspar David Friedrich and the industrialization lent expression of Adolph Menzel and Käthe Kollwitz. As the series progresses it presents a rare focus on the cultural impact of Hitler’s obsession with visual art, reveals how art became an arena for the Cold War, and examines the redemptive work of Gerhard Richter the most influential artist of modern times. 

In an absorbing study, Sabry Amroussi tells the story of a national art that conveys passion, precision, hope, and renewal, and juxtaposes escapism with control and a deep affinity with nature against love for the machine. 

Lecture One – Middle Ages and Northern Renaissance:
 Sabry begins his exploration of German art by looking at the rich and often neglected art of the German middle ages and Renaissance. He discusses the towering cathedral of Cologne, a place that encapsulates the varied and often contradictory character of German art. He gets to grips with the earliest paintings of the Northern Renaissance, the woodcuts of Albrecht Durer, and the cosmic visions of the painter Albrecht Altdorfer. Sabry also embarks on a tour of the Bavarian countryside, discovering some of the little-known treasures of German limewood sculpture.

Lecture Two – German Unification:
We continue our exploration of German art by looking at the tumultuous 19th century and early 20th century, and how artists were at the forefront of Germany's drive to become a single nation. We will virtually travel to the north and the coastal town of Greifswald, the birthplace of Caspar David Friedrich, the most influential of the German romantics, to discover how the Baltic coast impacted his mysterious paintings of the German landscape. We will also visit Berlin, and explore the art of the powerful Prussian state, which would spearhead the unification of Germany in 1871. This seminar ends with the outbreak of World War I and the attempts of artists Franz Marc and Otto Dix to rationalize the catastrophic experiences of the world's first technological war, a war driven by the innovations of Prussia.

Lecture Three – The Impact of the Third Reich:
Sabry concludes his exploration of German art by investigating the dark and difficult times of the 20th century. Dominating the landscape is the figure of Adolf Hitler - a failed artist, a would-be architect, and obsessed with the aesthetics of his 1,000-year Reich. In a series of extraordinary building projects and exhibitions, Hitler waged a propaganda war against every kind of modern art as a prelude to unleashing total war on the whole of Europe. After the war the shadow of the Third Reich persisted, Germany remained divided and traumatized. How would artists deal with a past that everybody wanted to forget? From the work of Otto Dix and George Grosz and the age of the Bauhaus to the post-war painters Georg Baselitz, Hilla Becher and the artist Gerhard Richter is a long strange journey, but the signs are there that art has a place at the heart of the new reunited Germany. 

Sabry Amroussi is an art historian and writer living and working in Amsterdam. He specializes in the art of the Dutch Golden Age, mainly in the works of Rembrandt and his school, and has a keen interest in the Jewish history of Amsterdam. He lectures and teaches on both subjects and gives art historical tours all across Europe. As a true omnivore when it comes to art, culture, and even cuisine, he has worked with and for major museums and collectors, such as the LACMA, Rijksmuseum, van Gogh Museum and the P de Boer collection in Amsterdam. As a guide for Context, he is eager to share this knowledge in real life, always with a big scoop of humor, ofter intermingling art with social life, cuisine, and history.

How does it work?
This is a three-part series held weekly and hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture. 

When will I receive the Zoom link?
Your link to enter the Zoom room will be the same for all ten sessions. It will be sent to the email address used to place your order 30 minutes prior to each lecture's start time.

Is there a reading list in advance?
Though the course is open to participants with no background on this topic, there are suggested readings for further investigation. These will be provided at the course's conclusion.

How long are the lectures?
Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.

How much is the course?
The course is $105 USD for three lectures.

Is a recording available?
Yes. All registered participants will be sent a recording link within 48 hours of each session's conclusion.

Are there additional seminars, courses, and in-person experiences being led by Sabry Amroussi?
Yes!  Sabry Amroussi will be leading several virtual experiences in the coming weeks. Details are available here.

Additionally, Sabry will be leading a Context Journey in Amsterdam in 2022. Context Journeys are multi-day, small group tours in cultural capitals all over the world. Expertly crafted to take learners to the heart of a destination, our Journeys take logistics and planning off of your plate as you uncover the history, art, and culture of your chosen destination. For additional details, please click here.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
93%
(13)
7%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.S. (London, GB)
Excellent course, as always from Sabry

Guest did not leave comment

A
A.B. (Beverly, US)
Excellent handling of a very broad topic

Sabry did an excellent job of handling a very broad topic in just a few sessions. I learned quite a bit and was delighted to see a lot of new-to-me artists and artworks. It was interesting to see the evolution of German art right before our eyes.

K
K.L. (Middleton, US)
Fascinating history of German art from the 1920's thru the 1980's

As always - Sabry brought tremendous enthusiasm to his presentation. His connecting social trends and even the psyche of the Germans in historical periods - is part of the great value that he provides in discussing these artworks.

N
N. (Winter Park, US)
Wonderful, stimulating conversations!

Sabry was so well informed, as always, and I appreciate, and am in awe of, his knowledge! This 3 part course was a very good investment!

N
N. (Winter Park, US)
Excellent seminar

Sabry is such a wonderful lecturer and with his outgoing personality, any presentation he gives is a 90 minute gift.

Customer Reviews

Based on 14 reviews
93%
(13)
7%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
K
K.S. (London, GB)
Excellent course, as always from Sabry

Guest did not leave comment

A
A.B. (Beverly, US)
Excellent handling of a very broad topic

Sabry did an excellent job of handling a very broad topic in just a few sessions. I learned quite a bit and was delighted to see a lot of new-to-me artists and artworks. It was interesting to see the evolution of German art right before our eyes.

K
K.L. (Middleton, US)
Fascinating history of German art from the 1920's thru the 1980's

As always - Sabry brought tremendous enthusiasm to his presentation. His connecting social trends and even the psyche of the Germans in historical periods - is part of the great value that he provides in discussing these artworks.

N
N. (Winter Park, US)
Wonderful, stimulating conversations!

Sabry was so well informed, as always, and I appreciate, and am in awe of, his knowledge! This 3 part course was a very good investment!

N
N. (Winter Park, US)
Excellent seminar

Sabry is such a wonderful lecturer and with his outgoing personality, any presentation he gives is a 90 minute gift.