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  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
    May 6, 1880 - Jun 15, 1938
  • Street, Berlin - Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a German expressionist painter and printmaker and one of the founders of the artists group Die Brücke or "The Bridge", a key group leading to the foundation of Expressionism in 20th century art. He volunteered for army service in the First World War, but soon suffered a breakdown and was discharged. In 1933, his work was branded as "degenerate" by the Nazis and in 1937 over 600 of his works were sold or destroyed. In 1938 he committed suicide.
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Street, Berlin
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  • Street, Berlin

  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
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  • 1913
    Oil on canvas
    47 1/2 x 35 7/8 inches (120.6 x 91.1 cm)
    Museum of Modern Art, New York, United States.

    Street, Berlin continued a series of Kirchner paintings over a three year period which concentrated on the lives of prostitutes and their pimps in various parts of central Berlin.

    This particular composition arrived at the start of this journey, in 1913. The artist's portrayals of city life produced an atmosphere of chaos and energy, which perfectly suited the artist's bright and expressionist artistic style. Artworks such as Street, Berlin plus Berlin Street Scene, Street Scene and Street, Dresden remain some of his most celebrated paintings from the artist's entire career. Kirchner uses a bold contrast of dark and light, with powerful shades of pink and purple that immediately capture your eye. Most male figures are in standard black suits which deliberately avoids them taking too much attention, whilst the main figures are put in alternative colours in order to direct the eye as Kirchner intended.

    The two women displayed centrally are prostitutes, though glamorously dressed. They sport blue and purple outfits which are both beautiful but also elegant, as the artist portrays these women in an honest but positive manner. The look happy and confident, which is perhaps out of sync with how many stereotype the women involved in this type of industry. It is the men who are predominantly without character, repeated endlessly as if ten-a-penny. It gives a feeling of the women being in-demand and courted, with the men fighting for their attention. This slant on the theme of prostitution continues into Kirchner's other paintings of around this period.

    This particular artwork can now be found at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, or at least under their ownership. Popular pieces such as this are regularly loaned out to exhibitions elsewhere and so it is always worth checking ahead to see what is on display at key international venues such as this. MoMa, as it is also sometimes called, features a number of other members of the Expressionist movement within its permanent collection, including the likes of Max Beckmann, Erich Heckel, Otto Dix, Oskar Kokoschka, Paul Klee and Franz Marc. In truth, there are over 200,000 artifacts in their collection making it impossible to mention all of the movements in which they are present. MoMA remains one of the most visited art attractions in the world, ranking well against the likes of the Louvre in Paris and the Tate Modern in the UK.

    Germany has contributed a huge amount to the art world ever since the Northern Renaissance, with notable artists appearing within a wide number of different styles and movements. For example, whilst Durer and Cranach were part of more traditional art, there was also Friedrich who came during the rise of the Romancists and helped to promote landscape painting towards it becoming an accepted genre for the first time. There were then, of course, the 20th century Expressionists and a number of related artists who helped to bring about new ideas yet again, and some of them also became involved in the theory of colour within art that would influence many others that followed. This nation may not be as respected for art as the Netherlands or Italy, but it cannot be denied that it has also produced some of the continent's finest artists.

    Why settle for a paper print when you can add sophistication to your rooms with a high quality 100% hand-painted oil painting on canvas at wholesale price? Order this beautiful oil painting today! that's a great way to impress friends, neighbors and clients alike.

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  • Thanks Kaizhou! The paintings look amazing! Awesome work! Thanks so much :)

Other paintings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner:

Brown Female Nude at the Window
Brown Female Nude at the Window
Two Women in the Street
Two Women in the Street
Kummeralp Mountain and Two Sheds
Kummeralp Mountain and Two Sheds
Frauen auf der Strasse
Frauen auf der Strasse
Ernst Ludwig KirchnerErnst Ludwig Kirchner was born in Aschaffenburg, Germany. Originally a student of architecture, Kirchner first became interested in fine arts during a visit to Nuremberg. The traditional German engravings he saw there served as the inspiration for his earliest efforts in the field of etching. When he began to paint he was influenced by Neo-Impressionism but, by 1904, the influence of the Norwegian Expressionist Edvard Munch and of African and oriental art helped him to simplify his use of form and color into large flat washes. The dominant member of Die Brücke, Kirchner worked with his friends in Dresden, graduated from architectural school in 1907, and then, with the members of Die Brücke, went to Berlin. It was there, between 1911 and 1914, that he painted his most famous works, portraying the eerie, worldly, and artificial life that was then typical of Berlin. He painted portraits and street scenes, locking his people in a web of rhythmic lines, distorting their forms and features into what he called "hieroglyphics," tinting them with unreal colors, and abstracting them from a reality that seems just beyond the reach of the known, and therefore haunting and hallucinatory.

While serving in the German Army, in 1916, Kirchner fell seriously ill and, in 1917, he left Germany for Switzerland, where he remained, constantly fighting against ailments, until his suicide in 1938 at Davos. The change of environment prompted a shift in the subject matter of his paintings, and the mountain landscapes and peasants of his later works are expressive of the link between man and nature. Late in the 1920's, he was much influenced by Picasso, and his work closely approached that of the Spanish artist during those years. However, his symbolic landscapes, often allegorical and even monumental in their symbolism, are more truly his own. Kirchner was also a sculptor and graphic artist, exceptionally talented in the making of woodcuts, and as forceful in black and white as in his vividly colored oil paintings.