Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was a German Expressionist painter, printmaker, and sculptor. Despite studying architecture at the Königliche Technische Hochschule of Dresden, Kirchner dedicated his life to art. He was even one of the founders of The Bridge (Die Brücke), an artist group that played a major role in the development of the Expressionist movement. Kirchner established The Bridge with Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. The Bridge lasted approximately eight years before it was disbanded in 1913, when Kirchner wrote Chronik der Brücke. A year later, the artist volunteered for army service for WWI; he was discharged in 1915 due to a nervous breakdown. While recovering from his breakdown, Kirchner painted Self-Portrait as a Soldier, which portrayed him as missing his right hand, although he never had an amputation. In 1918, Kirchner moved to Davos, Switzerland, where he changed his focus to the mountain scenery. By 1933, Kirchner’s art was declared "degenerate" by the Nazis. As a result, over 600 of his pieces were confiscated from public museums, and were either destroyed or sold. Due to the distress of his art being destroyed and the Nazi occupation close to his home, he committed suicide in 1938 in Frauenkirch, Switzerland.