Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner ~ Portraits and Self-Portraits

Although Ernst Kirchner's father had encouraged Kirchner's love of art while he was growing up when it came time for a proper education and vocation, Kirchner was pointed to studying architecture at the K├Ânigliche Technische Hochschule in Dresden. He also enrolled in art classes and the first photo here shows him with four of his paintings on the veranda of his parents' home in Chemnitz, ca 1902.

This next photo is of Kirchner and Doris Grosse when they lived together in Dresden. In 1911, Dodo refused to move to Berlin with him. Many of the photographs of Dodo show her wearing hats as do most of the paintings that she sat for as a model. The hats are an indicator of her profession as a milliner.

Once in Berlin, Kirchner met up with the Schilling sisters, Erna and Gerda in June 1912. Both Erna and Gerda posed as models for Kirchner. Gerda dropped out of their lives about 1915. Kirchner lived with Erna for the rest of his life. They never married although at one point during the month of his suicide in 1938 they had taken out a marriage license and planned a ceremony that Kirchner cancelled. After his death, Erna petitioned the Swiss government to be allowed to use the name Kirchner which was granted. The last photo shows Kirchner and Erna in Berlin, ca. 1912-13.

Plans are for a video of Kirchner's self-portraits on this post. Stay tuned.

And here it is, self-portraits of Ernst Kirchner drinking, smoking (when didn't he?), standing calmly with a black cat, looking out at us quite abstractly...

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