© by Ingeborg & Dr. Wolfgang Henze-Ketterer, Wittrach/Bern
ERNST LUDWIG KIRCHNER
Vaudeville Theatre (English Dancing Couple)
Oil on canvas
Inv. No. 2151
151 × 120 cm
The dancing couple sweeps across the canvas; the skirt whirls; the colours blaze. The young artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner felt at home in the atmosphere of the vaudeville theatre, for like him, the members of the ensemble lived in revolt against the bourgeois norms that prevailed around them in Dresden. Wild dancing and pleasure in movement fascinated the painter, who sought to capture them on canvas as well as on paper. After emigrating to Switzerland during the First World War, Kirchner strove for ordered repose in art as well as life. He partially overpainted this canvas of his younger years, giving the scene a peculiarly statuesque tension.