URY, Lesser
(b. 1861, Birnbaum, d. 1931, Berlin)

Berlin Street Scene (Leipzigerstrasse)

Oil on canvas, 107 x 68 cm
Berlinische Galerie, Berlin

The first ten years following the founding of the Berlin Secession in 1899 may be considered the heyday of German Impressionism. In addition to works by Liebermann, Corinth, and Slevogt, Important works included major works of minor artists, many of them have been unjustly forgotten. One of these minor artists was Lesser Ury, whose paintings of streets wet after rain had made his name.

Lesser Ury based nearly his entire oeuvre on views of Berlin, flashing its traditionally lively nightlife on canvas. Ury's Berlin Street Scene not only points to German painters' proximity to Paris, but to their new interest in the rediscovered arts of Baroque Spain and Goya, both so striking for their eloquent blacks and dramatically reduced palettes.