Self-Portrait (Melancholy of the Mountains), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Self-Portrait (Melancholy of the Mountains)
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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Self-Portrait (Melancholy of the Mountains), 1929

544 x 400 mm
504 x 354 mm
Physical Description
Colour woodcut from two printing blocks on wove cardboard 2nd state (of 2)
Inventory Number
SG 3156
Object Number
SG 3156 D
Acquired in 1953 from the artist’s estate
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

In 1926, Kirchner’s compositions began to take on a clearer, more two-dimensional quality once again making more use of curved lines. In this self-portrait of 1929, the artist developed his face with a few precise parallel hatchings and clearly outlined zones. Together the distribution of the colour and handling of the line make allusions to light and shade while also endowing the portrait with rhythm and tension. As Schmidt-Rottluff had done in 1919, Kirchner here gave his eyes two different qualities: one is the wide-open eye of the visionary; the other takes in the world around.

Work Data

Basic Information

Self-Portrait (Melancholy of the Mountains)
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Colour woodcut from two printing blocks on wove cardboard 2nd state (of 2)
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Bezeichnet unterhalb der Darstellung links (mit Bleistift): I Probe farbig
Captions Added Later
Bezeichnet unten rechts und oben rechts (mit Bleistift): 64; unten links: NL 626 II; darüber: nicht bei Sch.
Verso Nachlaßstempel des Künstlers (Lugt 1570b), Nummer handschriftlich ergänzt: H Da/Ba 8 III; daneben: III FH
Verso Stempel der Städtischen Galerie, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2371c), mit zugehöriger Inventarnummer
  • Nicht vorhanden
Work Catalogues
  • Gercken 1644 II 2 (von II)
  • Dube H. 615 II (von II)
  • nicht bei Schiefler

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain
Acquired in 1953 from the artist’s estate

Work Content

Motifs and References



Research and Discussion


Object History
Nachlass Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Davos, 1938
verkauft an die Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, 1953.


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

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