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Oskar Kokoschka

Pöchlarn 1886 - Montreux 1980

Oskar Kokoschka was born in Austria in 1896 to a Czech family. During his studies in Vienna one of his teachers was the famous artist Gustav Klimt, who recognised that he had great talent. He developed an Expressionist style influenced by Der Blaue Reiter and the Fauves. He gained enormous respect for his psychological portraits of his circle of friends, which included artists, poets, intellectuals and actors. He was badly wounded in the First World War as a volunteer for the Hapsburg army on the Eastern Front. After the war he taught at the art school in Dresden. He travelled a great deal between 1924 and 1933 in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. He began to paint landscapes in this period. In 1938, on the eve of the Second World War, Kokoschka fled to England. He eventually settled in Switzerland where he died at the age of 93.

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