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.

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