Lot 214: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Drei Wege, 1917
December 2, 2016
Cologne, GermanyLive Auction
Description: Signature and inscriptions in lower margin altogether faded. One of only few hand-pulled prints. Very rare.Further proofs located in the collections of the Folkwang Museum Essen, Kestner-Museum Hanover, Art Institute Chicago, Kunsthaus Zurich and the Berliner Kupferstichkabinett.The present work belongs to the group of 17 woodcuts considered to have certainly been created on the Stafelalp in 1917, during Kirchner's first summer in Davos. Kirchner's actively turning his attention to these new surroundings and their inhabitants was to provide him with a means to stabilise the precarious state of his health. Surrounded by the Swiss mountains he created landscape images of his new environment; they are characterised by a new, elementary and defiant power and are also anything but idylls.This extremely rare sheet is the artist's first woodcut from Davos without a staffage of figures. It depicts the - at that time, significantly more open - wooded area below the Stafelalp, where three paths lead: the old path for cows, the steep path for farmers and the route for transporting milk, which had not been built until 1908. The dramatically stylised mountain scenery, the condensed effect of depth and the animation of the clouds point, among other things, to Kirchner's occupation with the folk art of eastern Switzerland, whose formal idiom often inspired him (cf. Matthias Frehner, Berglandschaft aus Davos - “die grosse Steigerung”, in: exhib. cat. Expressionismus aus den Bergen, Bern/Groningen/Chur 2007-2008, Kunstmuseum Bern i.a., pp. 23 f.).
Condition Report: Traces of age, two professionally restored tears (old).
Notes: VAT: Margin scheme
Dimensions: 50 x 33.7 cm (57 x 44.2 cm)
Artist or Maker: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Medium: Woodcut on chamois-coloured heavy wove paper Framed under glass