Die Sonne, No. 3 from the series 10 Holzschnitte...Artist(s)Karl Schmidt-RottluffObject Creation Date1914Medium & Supportwoodcut on paperDimensions
19 ⅞ in x 24 ½ in (50.48 cm x 62.23 cm);26 ⅛ in x 32 ⅛ in (66.36 cm x 81.6 cm)Credit LineMuseum PurchaseLabel copy
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff’s woodcut The Sun can be seen as a culminating work of the classic phase of Expressionism and an expression of the hopeful anticipation with which many Europeans greeted World War I. Created in the summer of 1914, during the artist’s customary sojourn by the lakeside, The Sun exemplifies the ecstatic exultation in nature that the early Expressionists frequently depicted though incorporating a decidedly religious theme.
In this composition, two figures facing away from the viewer approach a rising sun on the horizon. The tremendous luminescence of the sun’s rays and the supplicant posture of the two figures endows this work with a decidedly spiritual tone. The open, submissive posture of the figures communicates an openness and sense of optimism – a sense of hope that pervaded much Expressionist art in the eager anticipation of a war that was believed to result in necessary change.
Text written by Katharine A. Weiss, Exhibitions Assistant, on the occasion of the UMMA exhibition Graphic Visions: German Expressionist Prints and Drawings, January 25–April 6, 2003, West GalleryPrimary Object ClassificationPrintCollection AreaModern and ContemporaryRights
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modern and contemporary art