Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

“Berlin Street Scene” by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Kirchner Berlin Street Scene 1913

“Berlin Street Scene” by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

“Berlin Street Scene” by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner depicts two prostitutes with potential clients. One of the clients is facing the viewer, and one is facing the women. The women are seen wearing very colorful clothing with elaborate lace collars and high-fashion hats. The women are looking at the two men provocatively. One of the men is paying attention, and the other is looking away.

The background is a busy street scene with a hackney carriage and a sign of the tram line. The style of capturing just a moment in the street life is emphasized by the tight focus, rather than the full-length detail of the foreground figures. Influences of Italian Futurism are evident in the dynamic of the work, and the angular language of Cubism is apparent.

Kirchner often depicted prostitutes and their relationship with their clients. This was an attempt to portray his idea of a new independent type of woman. Kirchner, an expressionist painter who volunteered for army service in the First World War but soon suffered a breakdown and was discharged. His work was branded as “degenerate” by the Nazis, and much of his work was destroyed or sold abroad. He committed suicide.

Berlin Street Scene

  • Title:                Berlin Street Scene
  • German:          Berliner Straßenszene
  • Artist:              Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
  • Created:          1913
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   Height: 121 cm (47.6 in). Width: 95 cm (37.4 in).
  • Museum:         Neue Galerie New York

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

  • Name:             Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
  • Born:               1880 – Aschaffenburg, German Empire
  • Died:               1938 (aged 58) – Frauenkirch-Wildboden, Switzerland
  • Nationality:   German
  • Movement:    Expressionism
  • Notable work:
    • Berlin Street Scene

A Tour of the Neue Galerie New York

A Tour of New York’s Museums

~~~

“Art is never finished, only abandoned.”
– Leonardo da Vinci

~~~


Photo Credit 1) Ernst Ludwig Kirchner [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons