Special Exhibition

Hugo Vogel, Garden in Wannsee, n. d. 
© Private collection, photo: Grisebach GmbH


Opening hours:
Eaily except Tuesdays
11 a.m.  - 5 p.m.
Open on public holidays.

Admission: 8 € / 5 € red.



Yearning for the idyll

Max Liebermann and the
Wannsee painters


20 October 2019 - 2 Febuary 2020
Exhibition extended until March 9th!


Around the year 1900, the yearning for an idyll beyond the turbulent bustle of the city resulted in an exodus from Berlin to Wannsee, not only of wealthy industrialists and businessmen but also of architects and artists. From the early 1870s Oscar Begas, Carl Becker, Anton von Werner, Hugo Vogel and Philipp Franck along with a group of renowned Berlin painters settled in the villa colony founded by the banker Wilhelm Conrad. Their works and homes reflected contemporary artistic and architectural trends ranging from the traditional to the modern.

The start of this influx of artists was in 1872 when the history and portrait painter Oscar Begas (1828-1883) built a villa in the style of the Italian renaissance on the Kleiner Wannsee. This would become not only a heavenly retreat but a place of fruitful creativity and social interaction. Carl Becker (1820-1900), a professor of the Academy, likewise built a Florentine-style villa at 13 Conradstraße which is still standing and commemorates the history painter. While Oscar Begas and Carl Becker remained dedicated throughout their lives to academic painting, the works painted at Wannsee by the history painters Anton von Werner (1843-1915) and Hugo Vogel (1855-1934) observe both thematically and stylistically that orientation towards light, air and sun which culminated in the impressionist works of Philipp Franck (1860-1944) and Max Liebermann (1847-1935). This modernity also found expression in the respective houses of the artists. When Max Liebermann occupied his summer house in Wannsee in 1910, this was the crowning accomplishment of a decades-long development.

In its exhibition Yearning for the idyll, the Liebermann-Villa will for the first time shine a light upon the network of painters at the Wannsee and with the aid of a selection of exemplary works and contemporary historical documents it will present the artistic and personal milieus of the artists. At the same time the exhibition will trace the development of a tradition-focussed outlook on art evident in the intellectual origins of Max Liebermann’s impressionism.