Ernst Ludwig Kirchner was born in Aschafenburg (Germany), in 1901. He studies architecture at the Technische Hochschule Dresden (1901). Later he continues his studies in Munich. In 1905 he cofounds with E. Heckel, K. Schmidt-Rottluff and F. Bleyl Die Brücke circle and is considered the driving force behind the group. They paint en plein air and his favorite subjects are feminine nude and landscapes. Kirchner is a great admirer of A. Dürer and of L. Cranach the Elder, and revives the art of woodblock printing. In Berlin he cofounds the MUIM-Institut (school of modern painting) with his friend and colleague M. Pechstein (1911). Kirchner paints his series of Großstadtbilder dedicated to Berlin (1914-1915).
During WWI he volunteers for the army but is soon released for health reasons. He is sent to a sanatorium in Davos, where he paints landscapes. In 1923 he moves to Frauenkirch-Wildboden. His work is exhibited in an art gallery in Basel. In 1926 a first monograph is published. He is commissioned to paint the murals at the Folkwang Museum in Essen (1927). In 1928 he participates in the Venice Biennale. He becomes a member of the Prussian Academy of Arts (1931). In 1933 his work is declared as degenerate art by the National Socialists. In 1937 his paintings are exhibited in the Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937. Kirchner commits suicide in 1938.