Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Apocalypse

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Anja Foerschner blogs about Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s Apocalypse drawings which will be on view in the exhibition World War I: War of Images, Images of War in the Getty Research Institute Galleries from November 18, 2014 – April 19, 2015.

Foerschner writes: "The story of Revelation, as the Apocalypse is described in the bible, became a popular topic in European art. Many artists, including Otto Dix and Max Beckmann, addressed the theme of the apocalypse in a metaphorical way. German artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, however, approached the theme in a literal way. Kirchner’s miniature drawings of the Revelation from 1917 mirror not only his own hopes and fears, but that of an entire generation of modern artists at the beginning of the 20th century… In 1917, he created 11 drawings of the Apocalypse on the back of cigarette boxes and a Self-Portrait with Death, which precedes the series and reveals it to be deeply personal. These tiny watercolors—each only 2 ½ inches high—were bound into an album that is now held in the Special Collections of the Getty Research Institute."

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