Expressionism in fine art emphasizes the expression of inner experience rather than just a realistic portrayal. Expressionism seeks to depict the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in the artist instead of the objective reality.
The Expressionist accomplishes his aim through distortion, exaggeration, primitivism, and fantasy and through the jarring, vivid, dynamic and even violent application of formal elements. In a broader sense Expressionism is one of the main currents of fine art in the later 19th and the 20th centuries, and its qualities of highly subjective, personal, self-expression are typical of a wide range of modern artists and art movements. Expressionism can also be seen as a permanent tendency in Germanic and Nordic fine art from at least the European Middle Ages, particularly in times of social change or spiritual crisis, and in this sense it forms the converse of the rationalist and the classifying tendencies of Italy and later of France.
Expressionism loosely denotes an artistic and literary movement born in the early years of the twentieth century. Unlike Impressionism, the goals of the Expressionists were not to reproduce the impression suggested by the surrounding world, but to strongly impose the artist’s own sensibility to the world’s representation. The expressionist artist substitutes into the visual object’s reality his own image of this object, which he feels as an accurate representation of not only the object but often some higher meaning. The search of harmony and forms is not as important as attempting to achieve a higher expressive intensity, both from an aesthetic point of view but also according to ideas and human critics.