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Movement in German painting of the 1920s and early 1930s reflecting the cynicism and resignation of the post-World War I period. The term was coined in 1925 by Gustav Hartlaub, director of the Mannheim Kunsthalle, for an exhibition including works by George Grosz, Otto Dix, and Max Beckmann, the movement's leading exponents. They worked in a realistic style, as opposed to the prevailing styles of abstraction and Expressionism, using meticulous detail to portray evil in smooth, cold, and static images derived from Italian Metaphysical painting for the purpose of violent social satire. The movement ended in the 1930s with the rise of Nazism.
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