Portrait of Ludwig Schames, 1917-1918


The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 1965expand_more  P.13,425

Not on Viewexpand_more

This woodcut head of the art dealer Ludwig Schames is one of Kirchner's most powerful portraits. It was commissioned in 1918 by the Frankfurt Art Association, a full year after Beckmann began exhibiting art in Schames's gallery. By this time Kirchner was living in a small hut in the Swiss Alps, recuperating from his devastating experiences in the First World War. Kirchner printed the whole edition of either 120 or 180 prints by hand, since he did not have a printing press. He created the portrait from memory, elongating Schames's severe features to fit the irregularly-shaped block of wood. The nude woman in the background is probably one of Kirchner's own wood sculptures. The force of the gouged marks and cross-hatchings, the uneven printing, and the unusual composition lend this portrait a sense of immediacy and expressivity typical of the best of Kirchner's Expressionist works.

Portrait of Ludwig Schames
Artist Life
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
Sch.281; D.330 (undescribed state)
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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