Ernst Ludwig Kirchner had a longstanding interest in textiles. Previous to designing woven tapestries, the artist embroidered designs on fabric. In Kirchner’s body of work, weaving and embroidery were important. Specifically, as the artist described in his diary: ’I see possibilities for a whole new way of painting, in which planes are used more freely. Weaving and embroidery make this possible.’ While decorative art held a prominent position in the beginning of the twentieth century, its status diminished and became viewed as only women’s work. This probably contributed to Kirchner’s withdrawal from tapestry design. Furthermore, the artist’s later arabesque-like style was incompatible with weaving. Family shows a man, woman and child, all nude, standing between flowers and stylized trees against a landscape filled with mountains and cows. This romanticized representation stems from Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s urban background. The artist equated his move from Berlin to the Swiss Alps with Gauguin’s relocation from Paris to Tahiti.

Collection

Design

Production date

1923/1924-1925

Library

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Object number

KNA 1780