"Blumenstrauß mit Plastik vor Fenster (Flower Bouquet with Sculpture in front of Window)", 1925
Watercolour on paper
17.32 x 12.6 in / framed 31.1 x 4.96 in
Artist's estate stamp on reverse,
numbered in ink "A Da/Ac 11",
numbered in pencil "1042"
- with craftsman's frame -
Über das Werk
Throughout the course of the 1920s Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's frail mental and physical condition steadily improved. Not least due to his move from the farmer's cottage "In den Lärchen" into the more spacious and comfortable house "Auf dem Wildboden", nesting at the entrance to the Sertig Valley near Davos in the autumn of 1923, his former anxieties, tensions and insecurities gave way to a more stable living and working situation and a fresh creative energy.
"Our new house is a source of great joy to us. We shall lead a comfortable and more orderly life here. This may turn out to be a genuine turning point in my life", he noted expectantly in his diary in September 1923. His artistic output also underwent a stylistic realignment: From around 1924/25 Kirchner's visual language is characterised by a growing calmness of expression. Large-scale simplifications of form and a consolidation of the pictorial arrangement, together with colour-rich zones, individual decorative and ornamental elements and a generally more stringent and lucid compositional structure enhance the impact of his work.
A wonderful example of this expressive shift towards a so-called "carpet style", as Kirchner’s new creative technique in around 1925 was also dubbed, is furnished by the watercolour "Flower Bouquet with Sculpture in front of Window". Dominating the picture in the immediate foreground and drawing the gaze of the viewer is a large bouquet of bleeding hearts in a plain pitcher on a geometrically patterned table cloth. In the background looms a dark wooden figure silhouetted by the light shining in through a small section of window. In this still-life Kirchner depicts his immediate private environment in the Wildboden house, where his own existence and artistic practice fused into an inseparable, mutually enhancing entity. He frequently integrated his paintings and above all his sculptures into the composition of interiors and still-lifes to evoke an intense and creative atmosphere, resonating with beauty and harmony. In this present work, the elements of nature, space and art interweave to conjure a sensually appealing arrangement of luminous, vibrant colours and forms. Although not conclusively identifiable, the sculpture could be the "Female Figure" which was commenced in around 1920, and never completed (cat. rais. Henze 1920/06) from the collection of Kunstmuseum Chur.