Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938)
Self-portrait as a Soldier, 1915. (Oil on Canvas., 69.2 x 61 cm.) Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio.
The Influence s
participated in the field artillery of the First World War. He served in the 75th
Artillery Regiment. However, in October 1915, he was discharged because of lung
disease and because of several nervous breakdowns. His self-portrait as a
soldier--Selbstbildnis als Soldat, which was painted upon his return to Berlin
from the fields, is a good representation of the mental scars the war had
left on him. He painted
himself in the uniform he wore while in service; in the painting his hand has been mutilated and he can no
longer hold a paintbrush to continue painting the model that appears in the foreground.
painting reveals that [Kirchner]
feels as if he has been maimed, his right hand cut off, owing to the impossibility of
pain. His face is screwed up in a tense grimace, with a cigarette dangling from his
lips; this is an expression of the brutalization of the human relation of people and the loss of human
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