Monday, February 8, 2010

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner- Mountain Landscapes from Clavadel

"Kirchner suffered a complete mental and physical collapse after being called up for service during World War I; he then settled in Switzerland, hoping the mountain air would cure mind and body. He turned to painting the high Alps, with bold colors and coarse brushwork, suggesting man at peace with nature-an ideal that contrasted sharply with his own wartime experience."

I was first drawn to this picture because the colors in it are very vivid and stood out to me. The painting is a prime example of modernist art. The painting is clearly depicting a recognizable mountain landscape, but the artist has infused his own style and mental perspective into the work. Kirchner's landscapes are an idealized image of the beauty surrounding him. he found refuge in the mountains, and painted them as the beautiful sanctuary they represented to him. What I found interesting was that when you look closely at the painting, he did use the color black at all. Even at the darkest points of the painting, such as the houses and the standing figure's hair and body, he uses a deep blue rather than black. Also, he paints the tree trunks in a pinkish-purple hue, as opposed to the brown of the trees that occur in nature. This again plays into his idealistic view of the mountains, that brought him peace of mind and a comfort he craves.

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