Two Women in the Street (1914) by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Two Women in the Street - Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - 1914

Artwork Information

TitleTwo Women in the Street
ArtistErnst Ludwig Kirchner
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions120.5 x 91 cm
Art MovementExpressionism
Current LocationKunstsammlung Nordrhein

About Two Women in the Street

The artwork “Two Women in the Street” by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, dated 1914, is an exemplar of the Expressionist movement, prominently featured within the genre of portraiture. Executed in oil on canvas, the piece measures 120.5 by 91 cm and is housed in the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein. It depicts a scene infused with vivid colors and emotive forms, representative of the artist’s distinctive style and the broader Expressionist approach to capturing the essence of urban life during the early 20th century.

In “Two Women in the Street,” the viewer is presented with a representation of two figures, presumably female, dominating the canvas. The colors employed are bold and intense, with contrasting hues that work to create a sense of tension and emotional depth. The depiction of the subjects deviates from classical portraiture, showing exaggerated and angular features that suggest an inward focus and psychological intensity, typical of Expressionism’s aim to evoke emotional responses rather than to mirror reality.

Kirchner’s brushwork is energetic and loose, contributing to a sense of movement and immediacy within the scene. The background is abstract and seems to echo the chaos of the urban environment, a common theme explored by the artist. The figures are adorned in fashionable attire of the era, with hats and coats that are rendered using sharp lines and geometric shapes, thereby emphasizing the fragmentation of form and the departure from naturalistic representation.

The portrayal of the subjects with masks or mask-like faces could suggest the theme of identity, anonymity, or perhaps a critique of societal roles and the facade of the metropolis. Overall, the artwork captures the dynamism and anxiety of modern city life, reflecting the upheavals and transitions of the era in which it was created.

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