“Expressionism: Art in which the emotions of an artist are paramount and take precedence over a rational and faithful-to-life rendering of subject matter. Expressionist compositions and forms therefore tend toward distortion and exaggeration, as in the art of El Greco. In modern art, expressionism is associated with German movements of the early 20th century, especially in Die Brucke and Der Blaue Reiter, which are usually referred to as German expressionism. In the Americas expressionism was embraced by Mexican muralists searching for a national style that incorporated European and pre-Columbian elements. See neo-expressionism.”
Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.