Five women on Kirchner's street

Five women on Kirchner's street
Five women on Kirchner's street

Theexpressionist painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchnerbegan training at the beginning of the 20th century as a painter in the city ofMunich, where he worked with a renowned designer of the so-calledJugendstil. With this he acquired training in woodcut and also learned a lot about stamping and about medieval painting in Germany.


Five women on Kirchner street

Later, in 1905, he went to Dresden to study architecture, although it was here that he definitely turned to painting and formed the famous group The Bridge, key to the development of German Expressionism. However, it was not there where he achieved his characteristic style. That happened later inBerlin, where he settled in 1911.

It is there that he would paint two years later this work ofFive women in the street. It is a painting where many of the usual characteristics of his art are summarized. They are angular and closed shapes, based on parallel brushstrokes. And as in so many other of his works, such as in The Sisters, the protagonists are women. Although in the case of the canvas in question, it cannot be guaranteed that he wanted to paint ladies of the Berlin upper bourgeoisie, because perhaps the objective of this painting was to portray a group of prostitutes, perhaps of upper class, who stroll through the city as if it were shadows.

In the fabric, which is large (120 x91 cm.), the painter recreates quite harsh colors and even somewhat aggressive forms, thus bordering on the idea of ​​the grotesque, since with the image he has a clear intention of scathing criticism of the society of his time. For this, he uses strong fillings and with hard lines he almost violently constructs each woman, who are isolated from each other, and also isolated from us, the spectators. He places them as vertical columns next to each other, but there is no communication or relationship. They are like cut-out silhouettes against the yellow background, although details such as their hats, coats or heavily made-up faces can be seen in these simple forms.

However, he gives us that idea of ​​silhouette for the reason thatKirchnerhas no intention of enhancing the volumes of each woman, but rather he only wants to contrast them through color. Some colors in which the ranges of cold, blue, black or green predominate, always in very aggressive tones to the eye.

The truth is that everything is color, and also lines. Some lines that we should not describe as drawing but as thick brushstrokes, since with that he builds the facial features of women. In short, pure Expressionism.

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