Lot 51
  • 51

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

800,000 - 1,200,000 GBP
1,482,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
  • Waldinneres (Forest Interior)
  • signed E.L. Kirchner (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 178 by 135cm.
  • 70 1/8 by 53 1/8 in.


Dr H. Stöcklin, Davos (acquired by 1952)

Sale: Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett, Stuttgart, March/April 1953, lot 16

Dr Walter Leder, Winterthur (acquired by 1968)

Thence by descent


Davos, Kunstgesellschaft, Schulhaus Davos-Platz, Graubünden in der Malerei und Gedächtnisausstellung E. L. Kirchner, 1938, no. 118

Zurich, Kunsthaus, Kirchner, 1952, no. 70

Basel, Kunstmuseum Basel, 1953 (on loan or exhibition - to check)

Stuttgart, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Kirchner, 1956, no. 31

Seattle, Seattle Art Museum; Pasadena, Pasadena Art Museum & Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: A Retrospective Exhibition, 1968-69, no. 69, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Zurich, Kunsthaus & Munich, Haus der Kunst, Die dreissiger Jahre - Schauplatz Deutschland, 1977, no. 33 (titled as Hommage à Klee and as dating from 1935-36)


Letter from Kirchner to Dr Carl Hagemann, 28th August/September 1937

Erhard Branger, 'Zu Kirchners Bergbildern', in Davoser Revue, no. XIII, 9th June 1938, p. 191

Donald E. Gordon, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1968, no. 1017, illustrated p. 414; illustrated in colour pl. XXVIII

Catalogue Note

Waldinneres is a striking and monumental example of Kirchner’s mountainscapes, executed in the area around Davos, where he lived from 1917 until the end of his life. Having suffered from ill health after military service, the artist moved to Davos in order to convalesce, and the years that followed were marked not only by a dramatic change of lifestyle from his Dresden and Berlin years, but also by an important shift in his art. Mountains for Kirchner became a symbol of physical and mental regeneration and these majestic landscapes, as well as images of villages and farmers at work, became key subjects of his painting (fig. 2) and of numerous photographs (fig. 1). The present composition is entirely occupied by the imposing mountain trees, without any signs of civilisation, their pronounced verticality reflecting the monumental and sublime quality of the scene. A smaller-scale oil study for the present work, titled Bergwald (Mountain Forest) is in the collection of the Bündner Kunstmuseum in Chur.


Bernhard Mendes Bürgi wrote about Kirchner’s Alpine landscapes: ‘Kirchner’s revitalization of an entire genre, one that can so easily tend toward romanticism and sentimentality rather than pristine grandeur and magic, doubtless stemmed from the menacing fascination of the alpine world he sought to capture, which was at first quite new to him. It was his very unfamiliarity with the imposing mountain environment that laid the foundations of his authentic experience of nature and innovative artistic form – and this created by an artist whose Berlin street scenes at the nerve center of anonymous megalopolitan dynamics were thematic antitheses, and who now lived in seclusion among peasants, at times on an alpine pasture remote from the sanitariums of Davos immortalized by Thomas Mann in his novel The Magic Mountain’ (B. M. Bürgi in Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: Mountain Life (exhibition catalogue), Kunstmuseum, Basel, 2003-04, p. 13).