Franz Roh

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Franz Roh (February 21, 1890 - December 30, 1965), was a German historian, photographer, and art critic.

Roh was born in Apolda (Thuringia), Germany. He studied at universities in Leipzig, Berlin, and Basel. In 1920, he received his Ph. D. in Munich for a work on Dutch paintings of the 17th century.

In his 1925 book Nach Expressionismus: Magischer Realismus: Probleme der neuesten europäischen Malerei ("After expressionism: Magical Realism: Problems of the newest European painting") he coined the term magic realism.

During the Nazi regime, he was isolated and briefly put in jail, a time he used to write the book Der Verkannte Künstler: Geschichte und Theorie des kulturellen Mißverstehens ("The unrecognized artist: history and theory of cultural misunderstanding"). After the war, in 1946, he married art historian Juliane Bartsch.

Roh died in Munich.

Roh was an Art Historian, photographer, and critic. He absolutely hated photographs that were to be like a painting, charcoal, or drawings. Roh was briefly imprisoned for his book Foto-Auge (Photo-Eye).

Roh and Magic Realism

Roh is perhaps best remembered as the critic who coined the term magic realism--a translation of his Magischer Realismus--which he first used in 1925 in "Magic Realism: Post-Expressionism," an essay about the visual arts. But, though the lineage is direct, his magic realism has a very different meaning from the one used to describe the work of writers such as Gabriel Garcia......
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