Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"Reclining Woman in White Chemise"

Source of Image:  Artblart Ernst Ludwig Kirchner German 1880–1938
‘Reclining woman in a white chemise’
oil on canvas
95.0 x 121.0 cm
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Acquired in 1950

“The Reclining Woman in a White Chemise” is a voluptuous picture redolent with sensuality, the well- proportioned lady showing off her ample curves; the huge flowers contrast brilliantly with the furniture, and the echoing curves of the sofa and wall behind give off an air of luxuriance that suggest that the subject was intimately known and loved by the artist. 

The German artist, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was considered one of the most important figures of European art in the XXth century,  a founding member of a group called “Die Brucke (The Bridge) which aimed to draw a link between the art of the past and that of the brutal new era that was dawning. Born in Dresden in 1880, he too volunteered for military service during World War I in 1914 but suffered a nervous breakdown in 1915 and was discharged, recovering for the next two years in sanatoriums in Switzerland.

 In 1918, he settled in Davos, living in a farm house in the Alps; from this time onwards his main subject matter was mountain scenes. In 1933, Kirchner was labelled a "degenerate artist” by the Nazis and asked for his resignation from the Berlin Academy of Arts. In 1937, over 600 of his works were confiscated from public museums in Germany and were sold or destroyed. In 1938, the psychological trauma of these events, along with the Nazi occupation of Austria, close to his home, led to his suicide.   Bettinka - arts theatre commentary Daily Nation Nairobi Star, Guardian Weekly stories reviews opinion.

I have  seen some of  Kirchner's original paintings in Fundación Mafre today, and I loved the exquisite display of bright colors and yet with the sense of serenity in many of his paintings, among which is the "Reclining Woman in a White Chemise".

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