Reclining Female Nude, c. 1923

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One of Germany’s leading Expressionists, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner moved to Switzerland to find treatment for chemical dependency and mental illness. In Zurich, in 1921, he met the dancer Nina Hard and took her back to his home, despite the protests of his wife, Erna. Here we see Nina in Kirchner’s studio, and she’s also depicted in the picture within a picture at left.

As a young man, Kirchner looked to Henri Matisse for inspiration, drawing on the older artist’s practice of simplifying art and his focus on nudes, rhythmic patterning, and seemingly arbitrary colors. Yet far from merely imitating Matisse’s ideas, Kirchner drove them to extremes to express his own brand of primal emotion.

Reclining Female Nude
Artist Life
Accession Number
Estate of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (stamp verso); [Galerie Wilhelm Grosshennig, Dusseldorf, 1967]; George W. Rickey, East Chatham, New York (until 1992; gave to MIA).
Curator Approved

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