Archers, 1935-1937 by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner


Archers, 1935-1937


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Ref GM3419
Type Fine Art Print
Image Size 12" x 16" (30 x 40 cm)
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Kirchner expressed extreme emotion through crude lines and a vibrant, unnatural colour palette, as seen in this painting, Kirchner's Expressionistic handling of paint represented a powerful reaction against the Impressionism that was dominant in German painting when he first emerged. For him, it marked a reaction against the staid civility of bourgeois life. He would always deny that he was influenced by other artists, yet Henri Matisse and Edvard Munch were clearly important in shaping his style. Fauvism was particularly significant in directing his palette, encouraging him to use flat areas of unbroken, often unmixed colour and simplified forms. Since the early 1930s Kirchner was intensively preoccupied with archery. The phenomenon of shadows of human figures moving in nature fascinated him. The energetic, dark linearity of the drawing elucidates the fluent movement of the human bodies. Kirchner creates accents by means of colourful beams of light, reflections and cast shadows, which allow the sequences of movement of his archers to appear as in a time lapse. “At the moment, I am painting ‘Archers’, a big picture. The large dark areas, the atmospheric shadows, will not be noticed in the picture by the viewer at all. They are a new discovery of mine and make the picture calm and monumental. You can find many kinds of things that have never been used in painting.” This was a quote from Ernst in a letter to a friend on the subject of his monumental work “Archers”.