NUSSBAUM, JAKOB (1873–1936), German painter. Nussbaum was born in Rhina near Kassel, Germany. His family moved to Frankfurt-on-the-Main ten years later and he was educated for a career in commerce. From 1893 to 1896, however, he studied art in Munich, first at the private academy of arts run by the Hungarian painter Simon Hollósy and later at the Academy of Fine Arts under Gabriel von Hackl. Following the example of French impressionism Hollósy instructed his pupils to emulate nature as the only source of true beauty and paradigm for artistic expression. Nussbaum and several other artists went so far as to accompany Hollósy to Hungary, where he intended to establish a colony of artists devoted solely to plein-air painting. The tenor of impressionist plein-air painting remains visible in Nussbaum's work, even after he had turned to expressionism. In 1902 he returned to Frankfurt, where he had a successful career as a painter of landscapes, still lifes, and portraits, such as the one of Georg Swarzenski (1928, Staedelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt-on-the-Main). He joined the Berlin Secession and together with Corinth, Slevogt, and Liebermann became one of the leading representatives of German impressionism. He also made several trips, such as to Holland together with Max Liebermann in 1908, to Tunisia in 1903/4, and to Palestine and Egypt in 1925, which is reflected in his painting Street of Tiberias in 1925 (Staedelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt-on-the-Main). During World War I he was drafted to document the war as an artist. In 1932 he became a teacher at the Frankfurt School of Arts and Crafts. He also became an honorary member of the Frankfurt Kuenstlerbund but lost all positions after the Nazi takeover in 1933. As a devoted Zionist he decided to immigrate to Palestine together with his wife and his children shortly after 1933, and settled at Lake Kinneret, where he continued to paint expressionist landscapes.
C.C. Mueller, Jakob Nussbaum (1873–1936), with Catalogue Raisonné (2002).
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.