Bogenschütze. 1920. Color Chalk drawing and pencil. Signed in center at bottom. With estate stamp of the Kunstmuseum Basel ( Lugt 1570b) in upper right and with hand-written number "H 303 D". On firm wove paper. 58.8 x 40.3 cm (23.1 x 15.8 in) , the full sheet. Verso with the woodcut "Kopf Karl Butz - Oberpfleger Karl Butz" from 1917/18 (Dube 323, Gercken 881). [KD]. This is a preliminary work for the painting "Bogenschütze" of the same name, today in possession of the Kirchner Museum, Davos (Gordon 994). With a photo expertise from Dr. Wolfgang Henze, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Archive, Campione, dated March 1, 1993. The work is registered at the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Archive, Wichtrach/Bern.
PROVENANCE: From the artist's estate Frankfurter Kunstkabinett, Hanna Becker vom Rath, 1954, cat. no. 83 Neumeisters Moderne, Munich 12th auction, November 1992, cat. no. 240. Private collection Northern Germany.
LITERATURE: Will Grohmann, Kirchner Zeichnungen, Dresden 1925, plate 87.
After Kirchner had slowly recovered from his narcotics addiction in Davos he began to develop a particular liking for his rural surroundings. Despite physical disabilities he restarted working. Drawings of peasant motifs are characterized by are strongly edgy style which is referred to as " Bauernstil" (Peasant Style) in literature. Figuresare plump and with truncatedproportions in comparison with the often excessively elongated figures in works from before World War I. While Kirchner found inspiration in the decadent lifestyle of the hysterical and nervous big city dwellers in the days around 1911, he now saw the primal force of country people as a nw source of inspiration. With great mastery he succeeds in adapting his style to the new surroundings. The years in Davos had a healing impact on Kirchner and he regained his strength, which also led to an artistic reorientation that would be decisive for his later creation. The fact that this works also carries another woodcut on rear is a sign that these days were not entirely free from material constraints. Reusing canvasses that had already been painted on was not unusual of Kirchner. The oeuvre catalog of paintings mentions more than 120 "paintings verso" and the same is also true for his works on paper, of which our drawing is a good example. Due to the relief-like execution the woodcut on verso was surely printed by Kirchner‘s hand.