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When used generally, with a small ‘e’, this is a term which implies heightened subjectivity or emotion, such as is found in Grünewald's great Isenheim altarpiece, completed in 1515, or the visionary art of El Greco. More specifically, it is employed with reference to two German movements of the early 20th century, Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter, both of which utilized heightened, non-naturalistic colour and striking forms to key up the emotional content of their work.

Text source: The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Art Terms (2nd Edition) by Michael Clarke

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