Ernst Ludwig Kirchner


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Quote, price and estimate by the artist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Price of a painting: 166,300 – 17,000,000 €.

Estimated value of a drawing: 820 – 400,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 40 – 112,600 €.

Price of a photograph: 100 – 300 €.

Price of a sculpture: 2,800 – 6,500,000 €.

Price of a tapestry: 5,100 – 27,000 €.

If you would like to have a work by Ersnt Ludwig Kirchner appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

Kirchner’s early days

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner came from an intellectual bourgeois family. He was born in Bavaria on May 6, 1880 in a town with an important paper industry. His father was a chemical engineer specialising in the paper manufacturing.

Kirchner studied at the Dresden University of Applied Sciences, where he enrolled in 1901 and, under parental pressure, he obtained a degree in architectural engineering in 1905. He nevertheless managed to study painting during his studies.

Die Brücke

Fritz Bleyl, a fellow student, upon his return from a trip to Dresden in 1904, met the future members of what was to become one of the most famous avant-garde groups of the 20th century. Some of them also began by training as architects, but were really only interested in painting. The official announcement of the foundation of the group Die Brücke (“The Bridge”) took place on 7 June 1905. Six months later they held their first group exhibition in a bookstore in Leipzig. Kirchner published the group’s programme in a newspaper in October 1906 and in the same year he organised an exhibition, mainly of wood engravings, alongside three other members, including Emil Nolde. The group initially devoted themselves to landscape painting and human figures during a “nude quarter hour” in Kirchner’s studio. Kirchner devoted himself wholeheartedly to this exercise and sought to distance himself from the bourgeois and academic models of the time by rediscovering a purity that was achieved through a more rudimentary stylistic approach to the motif.

Like many artists of his time, he discovered the arts of Sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania through their exhibitions in institutions, such as the Museum of Ethnography in Dresden. This changes his style, which becomes schematic in form and a balanced contrast of volumes: Bather by the Lake 1911.


Eventually the group travelled to Berlin over a period of a few years. However, relations between Kirchner and the other members deteriorated, as the latter considered that the leadership role he was giving himself was over the top. But for him, the problem lay in the fracture created by his relationship with Berlin, which became a dominant subject in his painting. The city became a new living environment and subject for his painting (Five Women in the Street, 1913). He also tried his hand at portraiture after meeting novelist Alfred Doblin in 1912, for whom he also did a few book illustrations.

Kirchner, like many, suffered from the psychological and physical consequences of the war, before moving to Switzerland in 1917.

There he painted self-portraits and later his interest for landscapes returned. Kirschner sadly ended his days by shooting himself in the heart, due to Hitler’s madness in 1938 and his classification by the government, who rejected most of his work, as a “degenerate artist”.

Recognising E. L. Kirchner’s signature

Like many artists, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

Expertise signature kirchner

Appraising and selling a piece by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

If you own a piece by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.