In the early years of the 20th century, a group of young artists including Ernst Kirchner, Vassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc, liberated themselves from traditional representation by using distortion and vibrant, unrealistic colour in their painting. Eroticism became a tool for exposing the lies and decadence of society, whilst motifs borrowed from African, Oceanic and Buddhist art further questioned bourgeois culture. Later, the cruelty of World War I was reflected violently in the work of Max Beckmann, Otto Dix and George Grosz. In light of an exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, this text re-evaluates the range of approaches taken by these radical artists, presenting more than 400 of their works and accompanying essays by art historians. Organized by theme, they describe the historical background of Expressionism and the two main groups Die Brucke and Der Blaue Reiter, looking at the links with Romanticism and Futurism, iconography, supporters, critics, collectors and theory. The main part of the book comprises the works themselves, each accompanied by text documenting their meaning and history. Artist's biographies are also provided.