Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) was a German Expressionist Painter and involved with the foundation of Expressionism in 20th century art. Trained as an architect, Ernst founded an artist group known as 'The Bridge', which was mandated with ignoring the traditional academic style of painting and finding a new way to express artistic styles. This bohemian group overthrew social conventions and was accepting of nudity, and other freedoms from established forces. The unconventional lifestyle allowed Ernst to express his artistic talents in a radically new format from established art styles. Our pattern set includes many of his known works including Marzella, Self Portrait as a Solider, Tavern, Nollendorfplatz, Erna, Fränzi in front of a Carved Chair, Bridge at the Mouth of the Weisseritz, Dr. Alfred Döblin, and Czardas Dancers.

Patterns Included In This Set:


Sitting Woman


Playing Naked People


Portait of a Woman


Berlin Street Scene


Two Brothers

Frnzi in front of a Carved Chair

Self Portrait as a Sick Person


Street Berlin


Potsdam Platz



Vier Holzplastiken

Self Portrait as a Soldier


Girl Under a Japanese Parasol

Self Portrait with Model

Two Women in the Street


A Group of Artists

Female Nude with Foliage Shadows

Cabaret Dancer


Two Female Nudes

Green House

Czardas dancers


Couple Sitting

Nude Lying in Front of Mirror



Fruit Bowl

Seated Girl

Bridge at the Mouth of the Weisseritz


Dodo in a Feathered Hat

Female Nude with Hat

The Russian


Dr. Alfred Dblin

The Lighthouse of Fehmarn

Sitting Woman with a Wooden Sculpture


Two Naked Girl in a Flat Pan

Burgstaaken Harbor Fehmarn

Otto Mueller with Pipe


Self Portrait

Seated Female Nude

Sick Woman


Striding into the Sea

The Circus Horse

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Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was born in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria, on the 6th of May in 1880. Kirchner would mature to become one of the most influential German Expressionist painters and printmakers in art history. He would also found a notable artistic group known as Die Brucke.

Kirchner studied architecture at the Konigliche Technische Hochschule, a technical university in Dresden. At the university, Kirchner had access to classes such as perspective drawing, art history, and freehand drawing. These classes helped him to mature as an artist.

While at school in Dresden, Kirchner befriended Fritz Bleyl. Bleyl and Kirchner had many commonalities and enjoyed studying nature and art together. Kirchner continued studying art in Munich from 1903 to 1904. He completed his degree in Dresden in 1905.

In 1905 Die Brucke (The Bridge), an artistic group, was founded by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and Erich Heckel. After Die Bruckes establishment, Kirchner totally committed himself to creating art. Because of this, the founding of the artistic group was a turning point for Kirchner and his career as an artist.

The goal of Die Brucke was to "eschew the prevalent traditional academic style and find a new mode of artistic expression." The group members hoped that this fresh expression of art would bridge together the present and the past (this is where the group's name, The Bridge, originated).

Die Brucke embraced the art of Albrecht Durer, Matthias Grunewald, and Lucas Cranach the Elder. These artists represented the artistic past the group sought to link to the future. Die Brucke also celebrated international avant-garde movements, which represented the artistic future the group desired to link the past. The group members also breathed new life into woodcut prints and older media.

Kirchner's group, Die Brucke, was majorly impacting on 20th Century modern art. This artistic group actually helped to create the style known as Expressionism. Die Brucke's meetings took place at Kirchner's studio. Unconventional, non-artistic activity (of a sexual nature) was prevalent at Die Brucke's meeting place.

In 1906, Die Brucke's works were exhibited in K. F. M. Seifert and Co. in Dresden. The featured works majored on the female nude. Also in 1906, Kirchner befriended Doris Groe, a woman who would become his "favored model" for the next 5 years. It was during these years that Kirchner focused his works on the female nude. He tended to depict the female nude in natural settings, which were inspired by the Moritzburg lakes, which he visited during the summer.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner established a private art school in 1911 in Berlin. Teachers at this school taught modern painting techniques. Due to a lack of popularity, Kirchner's school closed in 1912.

After 1912, Kirchner's career as an artist really began to soar. His personal work was exhibited for the first time in 1914, solidifying his artistic standing. Kirchner painted mountain scenery for the remainder of his life, and in the later 1920's, his work was introduced to a larger German/Swiss audience.

Kirchner's art became so notable that around 1923 several prominent artists established an artists' association because of his work. Between 1925 and 1926 Kirchner made a final trip to Germany, where he would stay for the remainder of his life.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's life ended abruptly on July 15, 1938, when he committed suicide. The suicide may have been connected to the defamation and confiscation of Kirchner's art by the Nazis in 1937.

Although Kirchner's life ended tragically, his legacy lives on. A father of German Expressionist painting, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner continues to be studied by art students, and his art is celebrated worldwide. The efforts of his artistic group, Die Brucke, contributed greatly to the birth of Expressionism. Truly, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's artistic accomplishments and contributions will never be forgotten.

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