Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

In contrast to his friend Otto Mueller, who often portrayed female nudes in arcadian landscapes (as in the drawing on view nearby), Kirchner placed two bathers within the distinctly urban setting of an artist’s studio. At the center of the sheet, a model washes herself in a small flat-bottomed tub. At left, a turbaned figure drapes a towel around the shoulders of the second woman, who appears to have just stepped out of the bath. Angular lines and broken contours are surprisingly effective in describing the sensual physicality of Kirchner’s models. The hastily drawn object on a pedestal at right can be identified as Dancer with Necklace—a small wooden sculpture that the artist completed around the time this drawing was made.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
German, 1880–1938
Bathers, 1910–11
Graphite pencil
Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, INV. NO. C 1927-12
© Kupferstich-Kabinett, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden