Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Gut Staberhof III (1913)

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), Gut Staberhof III (1913), oil on canvas, 32 1/8 x 35 5/8 in. (81.6 x 90.5 cm.), Source: Christie’s

The Truth, … and Nothing But the Truth

I’ll be honest. Many of Ernst Kirchner’s works are….. not my favorites. (There. I said it.) This painting, however, caught my eye immediately because of the colors. A pink street? What is that all about? I looked more closely. The trees are full of texture and movement, so  I could feel that island wind blowing…and I knew I had to learn just a little more about the painting. My brief notes follow, and, as the images reveal, I found plenty to admire. 😉

Who Is Ernst Ludwig Kirchner?

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880 – 1938) was a German expressionist painter and printmaker and one of the founders of the artists group Die Brücke or “The Bridge”, a key group leading to the foundation of Expressionism in 20th-century art. He volunteered for army service in the First World War, but soon suffered a breakdown and was discharged. In 1933, his work was branded as “degenerate” by the Nazis and in 1937, over 600 of his works were sold or destroyed. In 1938, he committed suicide by gunshot. (1)

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938), Gut Staberhof III (1913), oil on canvas, 32 1/8 x 35 5/8 in. (81.6 x 90.5 cm.), Source: Christie’s

Kirchner and Island of Fehmarn

In the years immediately prior to WW1, Kirchner escaped his hectic life in Berlin by vacationing several weeks each summer on the somewhat isolated island of Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea “off the northern coast of Germany, between the Kiel Fjord and the Bay of Mecklenburg.” (2)

According to the Christie’s,

 “These experiences provided the artist with rich inspiration, prompting him to create a vast array of works during his stays. In this way, these summer sojourns became an important stimulus to Kirchner’s creative energies, ushering in one of the most important, fertile periods of his career.” (2)

What Does This Painting Show?

Created during the summer of 1913, Gut Staberhof III is the final of a series of three oil paintings by the artist to focus on the small cluster of buildings at the heart of the Staberhof farm holding, a modest settlement a short walk from Kirchner’s lodgings. This suite of paintings reveal the important evolution of Kirchner’s artistic style at this time, as he began to employ a bolder, more expressionistic painterly technique in his work. Source: Christie’s

Click for Enlarged Detail:



  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
  • German expressionist
  • Gut Staberhof III
  • oil on canvas
  • 32 1/8 x 35 5/8 in. (81.6 x 90.5 cm.)
  • Painted in 1913
  • Source: Christie’s


  1. Wikipedia contributors, “Ernst Ludwig Kirchner,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed November 8, 2018).
  2. Christie’s, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Gut Staberhof III (1913), Sale 15004, Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale Including Property from The Collection of Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass, , (accessed 7 Nov 2018).


Thanks for Reading! 🙂

The End


4 Comments Add yours

  1. A great painter, in my opinion. The way he manages to portray the tortures of the soul with the use of colors is admiring. Colors in his paintings are all akin to Munch’s “Scream”, they seem to be on the edge of bursting…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI! I appreciate your comment, and I do agree with your point about his use of color. I suppose the fact that some of Kirchner’s paintings fill me with angst is the whole purpose….(?) This is all fresh territory for me, so I enjoy hearing other opinions. Munch I always loved because he gave me The Suns ;-). I can tolerate a LOT of angst for a little light. Do you have a favorite Kirchner painting?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Kirchner is “all-angst” so I understand the fact that for some people, it may be too much (horror, to be blunt). My favourite Kirchner painting would be the one which radiates with calmnness on the on side, and is uncanny on the other. “Mountains and Houses in the Show”. His winter landscapes are all wonderful. His use of white and its implicit symbolism strikes me as stunning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In my case, I think you a right about the horror -that part probably won’t ever appeal to me, but you are also right about those winter landscapes!! I am still looking for the favorite you mentioned, but I did find several good summaries of his later work with examples of gorgeous mountain scenes that he painted in Davos. These are completely new to me. Thanks for taking time to comment. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

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