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Lovers in the Morning, 1915

Leopold Museum,
Lithograph on paper
50.3×59.5 cm


  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

    (Aschaffenburg 1880‒1938 Davos Frauenkirch )

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880–1938) rendered the two lovers in an unconventional and explicit depiction, showing them in the early, still dim morning light in a tender embrace. The woman’s bright body stands out from the hazy darkness. Both the man and the woman’s face show mask-like traits. Kirchner molded the lithograph using soft, atmospherically compacted strokes. Yet, the tangle of lines appears somewhat jagged and nervous, as if underneath the dreamy-delicate mood there was another, hidden layer, one of disquiet. This is a distinctive hallmark of the oeuvre of Kirchner, a co-founder of the Dresden artists’ association Die Brücke, who with his creative solutions expressed a new attitude towards life opposed to bourgeois conventions. As a representative of German Expressionism, the painter and graphic artist was defamed as a “degenerate artist” after 1933 by the National Socialist regime. In 1938, he committed suicide in exile in Switzerland.

Object data

  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Lovers in the Morning
Art movement
Graphic work
Lithograph on paper
50.3×59.5 cm
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 1812
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Deutsche Expressionisten. Mit Meisterwerken aus der Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, hrsg. von Rudolf Leopold/Michael Fuhr, Wien 2006 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 28.09.2006-10.01.2007).
  • Annemarie Dube/Wolf-Dieter Dube: E. L. Kirchner. Das graphische Werk, München 1967.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Dube 1967: L. 276

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Nachlass Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Frauenkirch bei Davos, Schweiz (1938); (1)
Auktion: o.D., Auktionshaus Kornfeld, Bern; (2)
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (o.D.);
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 1994).

  1. Nachlassstempel auf der Blattrückseite
  2. Datenbank des Leopold Museums, mündliche Auskunft von Dr. Rudolf Leopold an Dr. Patricia Spiegelfeld vom 06.11.2003

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