Murnau am Staffelsee is a love story. In 1908, after a journey through Europe and North Africa, artists Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky, members of the first modernistic association, the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (NKVM), first came to Murnau am Staffelsee. They enjoyed their stay and felt inspired by the beautiful landscape. Gabriele Münter then bought a house in Murnau, which would later on be used by them as a summer house. Between 1909 and 1914, they stayed there in summers and created a new style of painting, inspired by the region’s traditional reverse painting on glass. The essence of this folk art, reducing themes to simple coloured structures, influenced both artists and showed them the way to a striking visual style. It would be the first step to Expressionism.
Münter and Kandinsky were often visited by other artists and friends, such as Franz Marc, August Macke, Marianne von Werefkin, Alexej Jawlensky and the composer Arnold Schönberg. Their house soon became an important meeting place of the artistic avant-garde of the 20th century. The plans for the almanac „Der Blaue Reiter“ were discussed there, for example. The art piece proved a dramatic turn away from traditional and conventional orientation. During the First World War, the couple separated: Kandinsky returned to Russia, while Münter went to Scandinavia. She returned to Murnau a. Staffelsee in 1931, together with art historian Johannes Eichner, and lived there until her death in 1962.