Kneeling One (Kniende)
Even as they sought to transform Western art, German Expressionists continued to engage with the conventional subject of the female nude. This figure’s angular, stylized forms and masklike face, and the stool from Cameroon beside her, reflect the fascination with non-Western art and culture among many modernist artists, and what they believed to be its authenticity and closeness to nature. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff specifically drew from Western and Central African sculptures, which were entering German ethnological museum collections in unprecedented numbers in the aftermath of colonial conquest.
In 1905 Schmidt-Rottluff cofounded the German avant-garde Expressionist movement Die Brücke (The Bridge) with Erich Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, whose work can be seen nearby. Reflecting the radical break from naturalistic norms of traditional art, Die Brücke artists adopted a vocabulary of simplified or distorted forms and strong colors. Woodcuts, central to the group’s practice, account for well over half of the nearly seven hundred prints that Schmidt-Rottluff produced. The medium represented a cultural link between the group and earlier German artists such as Albrecht Dürer, and enabled its members to convey the physicality of carving and the textural qualities of wood with great immediacy and energy.
Woodcut on laid paper
Image: 19 5/8 x 15 7/16 in. (49.8 x 39.2 cm)
Sheet: 24 7/16 x 20 in. (62.1 x 50.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed, "S. Rottluff" lower right margin in graphite
"1292/11" (?) is inscribed in graphite near the lower left corner. There is a partially erased graphite inscription "38 S. ch." (?) near the lower right corner.
Frederick Loeser Fund
This item is not on view
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (German, 1884-1976). Kneeling One (Kniende), 1914. Woodcut on laid paper, Image: 19 5/8 x 15 7/16 in. (49.8 x 39.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frederick Loeser Fund, 51.150.2. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.51.150.2.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
© artist or artist's estate
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.