Wild Ground, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Wild Ground
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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Wild Ground, ca. 1924

355 x 458 mm
Physical Description
Watercolour and gouache over pencil on wove cardboard
Inventory Number
SG 2930
Object Number
SG 2930 Z
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

For Kirchner, life in Switzerland led to a “new way of seeing and creating”. According to the artist, the clear mountain air influenced his vivid colour choices. This watercolour is moreover distinguished by a great number of small brushstrokes placed one next to the other. Their arrangement in rows forms an ornamental pattern on the surface of the work, reminiscent of the structure of oriental carpets. It is for this reason that Kirchner scholars frequently refer to the artist’s style of his late Davos years as the “carpet style”.

About the Acquisition

From 1900 onwards, the Frankfurt chemist and industrialist Carl Hagemann (1867‒1940) assembled one of the most important private collections of modern art. It included numerous paintings, drawings, watercolours and prints, especially by members of the artist group “Die Brücke”. After Carl Hagemann died in an accident during the Second World War, the then Städel director Ernst Holzinger arranged for Hagemann’s heirs to evacuate his collection with the museum’s collection. In gratitude, the family donated almost all of the works on paper to the Städel Museum in 1948. Further donations and permanent loans as well as purchases of paintings and watercolours from the Hagemann estate helped to compensate for the losses the museum had suffered in 1937 as part of the Nazi’s “Degenerate Art” campaign. Today, the Hagemann Collection forms the core of the Städel museum’s Expressionist collection.

Work Data

Basic Information

Wild Ground
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Watercolour and gouache over pencil on wove cardboard
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Label at the Time of Manufacture
Signiert unten links (mit Bleistift): ELKirchner
Captions Added Later
Verso unten links Stempel des Stettiner Museumsvereins; bezeichnet (mit Feder in Schwarz): No 81. [Stempel zweimal durchgestrichen]
Stempel in Schwarz: Slg. Hagemann; darunter bezeichnet (mit Bleistift:) 1142
Verso Stempel der Städtischen Galerie, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2371c)
  • Nicht vorhanden
Work Catalogues
  • Lenz 1974, 61

Property and Acquisition

Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
Public Domain

Work Content

Motifs and References



Research and Discussion


Object History
Carl Hagemann (1867-1940), Frankfurt
Nachlass Carl Hagemann, 1940
erworben von der Städtischen Galerie, Frankfurt am Main, 1949.


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”.

The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.

Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:

  • the type of acquisition and/or the way the object changed hands
  • the owner's name and place of residence
  • the date on which it changed hands

The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.

Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.

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