Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was born in Aschaffenburg, Germany in 1880. After studying architecture in Dresden he founded the artistic group «Brücke» with his friends Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. In 1911 Kirchner moved to Berlin, and in the following years his expressive work led to the first high point of his career.
The friendship of the «Brücke» artists fell apart in 1913. In 1915, during his military training, Kirchner suffered a breakdown; after hospitalisation in Königstein im Taunus and Kreuzlingen on Lake Constance he went to Davos for convalescence in 1917. First on the Stafelalp, then in the house «In den Lärchen» and finally on the Wildboden, Kirchner continued his extensive work. He painted peasants at work and visionary landscapes that capture the overwhelming impression of the mountains. Apart from creating paintings, drawings and prints, Kirchner also resumed making furniture and sculptural works.
Kirchner’s paintings were no longer permitted to be shown in National Socialist Germany. In 1936 they were confiscated from the museums and reviled in the exhibition Degenerate Art. The defamation of his person and artistic work intensified Kirchner’s personal crisis, and he took his life in 1938. His grave and that of his partner Erna Schilling are in the forest cemetery in Davos.
Text from www.kirchnermuseum.ch.