Three Bathers on the Beach
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
On View: European Art Galleries, 5th floor
Influenced in part by Henri Matisse, whose paintings he saw exhibited in Berlin in 1909, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner developed a radical and forceful pictorial language of flattened space, expressive figural distortion, and vivid color. This composition recalls traditional, idyllic pastorals while also reflecting his own free lifestyle at a lake near Dresden, where he relaxed and bathed nude with friends. Kirchner claimed that “the poet Walt Whitman was responsible for my outlook on life” and that Whitman’s sexually charged 1855 poem Leaves of Grass “was and still is my comfort and encouragement.” These lines from the poem seem to reflect the atmosphere of his print: “I will go to the bank by the wood and become undisguised and naked, I am mad for it to be in contact with me.”
Color lithograph in red, yellow, green, blue and violet on wove paper
Image: 20 x 23 1/2 in. (50.8 x 59.7 cm)
Sheet: 21 3/4 x 25 13/16 in. (55.2 x 65.6 cm) (show scale)
Stamped on verso: "Kunstverein / Jena"
verso: purple stamp: "Kunstverein
verso: graphite, "NY 2975"
verso: purple stamp: "
Signed in graphite, lower right: "E.L. Kirchner 09"
Lower left in graphite: "Handdruck"
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German, 1880-1938). Three Bathers on the Beach, 1909. Color lithograph in red, yellow, green, blue and violet on wove paper, Image: 20 x 23 1/2 in. (50.8 x 59.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, By exchange, 43.124 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 43.124_SL1.jpg)
overall, 43.124_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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