Dates: 1905-1914

Origin: Germany

Key Artists: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Emil Nolde

[German, ‘The Bridge’] a group of German Expressionist artists formed in Dresden in 1905 by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel, and Fritz Bleyl, all of whom were architectural students at the Dresden Technical School. The name was chosen by Schmidt-Rottluff and suggested the group’s faith in the art of the future to which they would act as a bridge. Kirchner wrote the group’s short manifesto issued in 1906, the year in which Emil Nolde joined (he left the following year). Medieval and primitive art were important influences: the latter could be studied in the Dresden Ethnological Museum. The art of Die Brücke remained strongly figurative, often depicting figures in a landscape. Graphic art was a particular speciality, especially the dramatic woodcuts produced by Heckel and Schmidt-Rottluff with their characteristic strong patterns of black and white and bold cutting of the block. By 1911 most of the major Brücke artists had moved to Berlin where their art was seen in opposition to the German Impressionism promoted by Max Liebermann and his followers.

“Brücke, Die.” The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t4/e299&gt;

Emil Nolde

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