Rainy Day in London, Thames Port 1926
Lesser Ury was a German impressionist painter and printmaker, associated with the Düsseldorf school of painting, who followed his own style and is perhaps most well known for his skills with pastels – some consider Ury one of the most important pastellists of the 19th Century. Ury is especially noted for his paintings of nocturnal cafe scenes and rainy streets.
In 1871, Lesser Ury, a “forgotten” artist from Berlin’s exciting Secession period, moved from the small village Birnbaum, then in the Poznan Province, to Berlin. From the first moment, Lesser Ury felt a special relationship with the city, which would influence his art to such a degree that he was honoured as “the artistic glorifier of the capital” by the Berlin mayor on his 60th birthday.
However, before Ury finally made his home in Berlin, he studied painting in Düsseldorf and Brussels, gathered precious artistic experiences in Paris and explored Flanders and Munich, where he was enrolled for a short time at the “Akademie für Bildende Künste”.
Whereas his Berlin contemporaries Liebermann, Slevogt and Corinth were united by joint artistic intentions, Ury was a loner that followed his own ways in the world of art. Introverted and distrust of people, he became reclusive in his latter years.
Following a heart attack, his health continued to deteriorate and he died in his Berlin studio three weeks before his 70th birthday.