Standing Nude with Hut Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

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Standing Nude with Hut
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s painting “Standing Nude with Hut” (Nackte Frau mit Hut) represents a female figure standing alone without any clothes inside a room. Though she’s unclothed, she wears a black round hat, some pieces of jewelry and pointy red shoes. The black color used for the hat was also used for the pubic hair of the Woman, which emphasizes its rectangular shape. Geometrical forms painted in different tones of green, yellow and a vivid blue cover the background. The background recalls African prints because of the shapes and colors used by the artist.

The paint misses a three-dimensional perspective, which in a way shows all the components of the paint on the same layer. A black stripe on the lower part of the paint helps to distinguish the difference between the walls and the floor. Also the tones of red used for the floor helps on distinguishing the rupture between both.

For this piece Kirchner got inspired from the Granach’s Venus from 1532. Although both paintings represent a female nude, there is a notorious difference of intentions coming from the artists. Kirchner creates a contrast between the delicacy of the female figure and the geometrical and colorful background. The background, described as primitive, shows the viewer one of the artistic statements of Kirchner and accordingly to the Brücke. One of the main statements of the Brücke was to get apart from the strict artistic agreements of their time that were preached by the bourgeois society. In this piece Kirchner clearly achieves with the background to place the female character into a primitive context. The idea of using a ‘primitive’ aesthetic for his pieces was because for them the primitive (regarding African culture) was considered a more purely and authentic form of self-expression. Being a society not that industrially developed was for the Brücke a way of remaining ‘pure’ and being more capable to express their inner feelings....
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