Lot 309: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Badende in den Dünen, Circa 1912
December 2, 2016
Cologne, GermanyLive Auction
Description: Signed 'ELKirchner' (E, L and K joined) lower left. - Estate inscription 'B Be/Bf 12' in black ink verso lower left.This work is documented in the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Archiv Wichtrach/Bern“In Fehmarn I learned to give form to the unity of humanity and nature”, wrote Kirchner in one of his drafts for a biography (cited in: Karlheinz Gabler, E.L. Kirchner: Zeichnungen, Pastelle, Aquarelle, exhib. cat. Aschaffenburg 1980, p. 124). In “Genius” (1920), written under his pseudonym Louis de Marsalle, he later formulated some fundamental points regarding his drawing: “If you wish to clearly understand Kirchner's particular manner of representation, his forms and his composition, it is best to take a look at his drawings [...] If you have absorbed them the way that one reads a cherished letter or a treasured book, you will imperceptibly develop a feeling for the key to this hieroglyphic script. Kirchner draws like other people write.” (cited in: Lucius Grisebach, Kirchners “Hieroglyphe”, in: exhib. cat. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Die Sammlung Karlheinz Gabler, Munich 1999, p. 32).The fine sheet here shows Kirchner's graphic art indubitably at its peak. The zigzag hatching is a striking, virtually decorative detail of a motif which is calm, but dynamically charged through the rapidly jotted down outlines of the sand dunes. He presumably brought this element back with him from his journey to Bohemia together with Otto Mueller. However, while it always remains shorthand for vegetation in Mueller's work - thus transforming his images into idylls - in Kirchner's art it becomes a hatching that unconsciously documents the degree of his inner involvement and his constitution each time, thus defining the character of the drawings by a form of a psychographic quality.
Condition Report: Minimal traces of creasing; brownish stain in lower margin (possibly original).
Notes: VAT: Margin scheme
Provenance: From the artist's estate; Rhenish private collection (1986); Private collection, Rhineland
Dimensions: 39 x 46 cm
Artist or Maker: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Medium: Pencil drawing on chamois-coloured drawing paper Framed under glass
Date: Circa, 1912