A-Level: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Street, Dresden

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Street, Dresden, oil on canvas, 1908 (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Key points:

  • Street, Dresden emphasizes the dynamism of urban life in Germany in the early twentieth century, depicting the swirling crowds and electric lights of the modern city.
  • It recalls the isolation and psychological angst explored by earlier nineteenth-century artists, but reflects the twentieth-century move toward greater expressionism in color and open brushwork.
  • Kirchner and other Die Brücke artists were influenced by Nietzsche’s ideas about breaking apart morality and conventions in modern Germany.


Additional resources:

View this work in MoMA’s collection

Expressionism and city life from MoMAlearning

Smarthistory images for teaching and learning:

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Cite this page as: Dr. Juliana Kreinik, Dr. Steven Zucker and Dr. Beth Harris, "A-Level: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Street, Dresden," in Smarthistory, July 26, 2017, accessed May 27, 2024, https://smarthistory.org/kirchner-street-dresden-2/.