Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938, German)

 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) was born in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria.  When he was 21 years old he began studying architecture at the Königliche Technische Hochschule in Dresden where he completed his degree in 1905.  He and Fritz Bleyl, whom he met while studying, founded the group called Die Brücke (The Bridge) which would greatly influence 20th century art by creating the Expressionist movement.  In 1913, the group was disbanded and Kirchner started to make a name for himself.  His first exhibition of paintings took place in the same year in the U.S., where his art was quite popular, and  American museums started to acquire his works in 1921. 

In 1914, Kirchner volunteered to fight in WWI, and suffered from a nervous breakdown and entered a sanatorium as a morphine addict.  After taking some time to recuperate, in 1919, Kirchner started painting cats, in particular, his own black cat, Bobby.  Kirchner painted over one hundred pictures of his cat and even mentioned him in his diary.  He wrote, “Bobby, the little cat is here now…..Clean and alive, quite interesting company.  Hopefully, I can keep the little man. “ In his 1920 self-portrait, we see Bobby perched on a window sill on his right side.  The cat sits there as if he were Kirchner’s alter ego or perhaps a guardian.  But Bobby was definitely a typical cat in that he needed his independence as we learn from a letter to Kirchner wrote to his wife in 1928,  “I feel better now, the cough is almost gone……Bobby is mostly outdoors, only comes home to eat and is very friendly. I am very lonely.” When Bobby died on October 6th, 1930, his death affected Kirchner deeply. Kirchner wrote, “We buried him in tears. Even though an animal, he suffered and died like a man. His clear eyes will remain in our memories for a long time.”  In 1931, one of Kirchner’s outdoor cats, Schacky, started to visit Kirchner in his studio.  Kirchner wrote his wife, “I am quite often alone, only Schacky plays around me while I try some etchings.  Yesterday evening Schacky had a lady visitor and there was much shouting and raving.”  But Schacky, too, was an independent tomcat and was not a consistent companion to Kirchner.  With the rise of German nationalism and the Nazi party, Kirchner’s work was soon deemed “degenerate” and over 600 of his works were destroyed by the party in 1937.  Unable to endure this, he committed suicide in 1938.

 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, cats in art, Kirchner's cat Bobby

Liegende Katze (Bobby)
1919

 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Bobby, Boby, cats in art, Black cat

Black Cat
(Bobby)

 

Ernst Kirchner, cats in art, Bobby, Boby

Grey Cat on a Cushion
1919-20
Museum am Ostwall
Dortmund, Germany

 

E.L.Kirchner, Stilleben mit Katze, Still-life with cat, cats in art

Stilleben mit Katze
Still-Life with Cat

 

The Living Room 1920 Hamburger-Kunsthalle Ernst L Kirchner, cats in art

The Living Room
1920
Hamburger-Kunsthalle

 

 

 

Kirchner Wiesenblumen und Katze 1931-32

Wiesenblumen und Katze
1931-32

 

Kirchner Portrait of Erna with a Cat, cats in art

Portrait of Erna with a Cat

 

Kirchner Selbstbildnis Self portrait

Selbstbildnis
Self portrait

 

Kirchner, The Painter Stirner with a Cat

The Painter Stirner with a Cat

 

 

Kirchner Before the Dawn 1924-26

Before the Dawn
1924-26

 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner,Akte im Wald mit Katze (Nudes in the Woods with a Cat), cat paintings, expressionism

Akte im Wald mit Katze
(Nudes in the Woods with a Cat)

 

Kirchner Nude with White Cat, Akt mit Weisse Katze, cats in art

Akt mit Weisse Katze
(Nude with White Cat)

 

Kirchner, Mother and Daughter with Cat

Tochter mit Katze
Mother an Daugher with Cat

 

Kirchner, Schaxel met Katze, cats in art

Schaxel mit Katze
1917-18

 

Kirchner Kuh und Katze Cow and Cat Lithograph

Kuh und Katze
Cow and Cat
Lithograph

 

Kirchner Katze am Ofen Cat and Oven

Katze am Ofen
Cat and Oven

 

Kirchner Zwei Katzen Two Cats 1936

Zwei Katzen
Two Cats
1936

 

Kirchner Bube mit Katze im Wohnzimmer 1925

Bube mit Katze im Wohnzimmer
1925

 

Kirchner Spielende Katzenmutter und Junes Mother Playing with her Kitten

Spielende Katzenmutter und Junes
Mother Playing with her Kitten

 

Kirchner Frau and Katze, cats in art

Frau and Katze
Woman and Cat

 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Katze, cats in art

Katze

 

Kirchner Katze und Hund Cat and Dog

Katze und Hund
Cat and Dog

 

Kirchner Frau mit Katze Woman and Cat

Frau mit Katze
Woman and Cat

 

Erna Kirchner mit der Katze Erna Kirchner with the Cat (Bobby)

Erna Kirchner mit der Katze
Erna Kirchner with the Cat (Bobby)

 

Erna mit Kater Boby Erna with Bobby

Erna mit Kater Boby
Erna with Bobby

 

Kirchner Mädchen mit Katze Girl and Cat

Mädchen mit Katze
Girl and Cat

 

Kirchner Sitzende und Spielende Katzen Sitting and Playing Cats

Sitzende und Spielende Katzen
Sitting and Playing Cats

 

KirchnerSpringende Katze Pouncing Cat

Springende Katze
Pouncing Cat

 

Kirchner Nackte Frau mit Katze Nude with Cat 1927 Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Nackte Frau mit Katze
Nude with Cat
1927
Museum of Fine Arts
Boston

 

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Weisses Haus in den Wiesen 1920

Weisses Haus in den Wiesen
1920

 

Kirchner Weiterempfehlen

Weiterempfehlen


 

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Comments

  1. LA Vocelle says:

    Thanks for sharing!

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  1. […] friend sent me this display of moving and accurate depictions of cats by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938). Unfortunately I can’t separate out any of the drawings […]

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