Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was born in Aschaffenburg on May 6, 1880 and was one of the most important representatives of Expressionism.
He studied architecture in Dresden and joined Die Brücke (The Bridge) in 1905. In this period, Kirchner evolved from Impressionism to Expressionism. His favorite themes were portraits, nudes, landscapes, city views as well as variety. He had little success with his pictures in Dresden so he moved to Berlin in 1911. But there, too, his situation did not improve significantly. Max Pechstein, with whom he later founded a painting school, conducted an exhibition in 1911, in which Kirchner participated. The painting school also had little success. In 1913, Kirchner wrote a chronicle about Die Brücke, which led to the group’s the dissolution.
Kirchner spent a summer vacation on the island of Fehmarn, where a large number of his pictures were created. When the First World War broke out, he joined the troops in 1915, but had to leave for psychological reasons and depended on medication. Despite his war experience and illness, he created large-scale works of art in a sanatorium. His wife, Erna Schilling, sold his artworks in Berlin in 1917, while he lived in Switzerland and was a victim of paralysis.
In 1937, the National Socialists got rid of his artworks. Over 600 were sold or destroyed. A year later, on June 15 1938, the painter committed suicide.