Ludwig Meidner was born in Bernstadt/Silesia. He moved to Berlin in 1905 and worked as a fashion designer until a relative gave him enough money to go to Paris for a year. In Paris he studied at the Académie Julian and the Académie Cormon where he met Modogliani. Between 1912 and 1914 he published his best-known works, the “Apocalyptic Landscapes”, which became a central part of German urban Expressionism.
During the war, Meidner served as a translator for French prisoners of war. He participated in his first exhibitions of the November Group in 1919, after which he distanced himself from Expressionism and pursued a bourgeois life, reverting to orthodox Judaism. In 1927 he married and virtually disappeared from public view as an artist. In 1933 he was exposed for being both a member of the avant-garde and for being Jewish. He was dismissed from his position as a teacher and he interned as an “enemy alien” and after his release he lived in London in great poverty. In 1952 he returned to Germany and continued to produce art, moving around until his death in 1966.
No study or catalogue of Meidner’s prints was ever, but it seems that he only made drypoints, or, perhaps in his later years, etchings as well. It is believed that his earliest drypoints were made in 1913. His production increased noticeably after the war and it is believed that he made several hundreds of etchings in the early 1920s. After the late 1930s, prints by Meidner are rarely seen.