In the Restaurant

Accession Number

In the Restaurant

Ernst Kirchner

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
ink on cream wove paper

3 7/8 in. x 6 3/8 in. ( 9.84 cm x 16.19 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection

Label copy
Ernst Kirchner
Germany, 1880–1938
In the Restaurant
Ink on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.98
Ernst Kirchner
Germany, 1880–1938
In the Studio (Erna and Guest)
Ink on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.81
Expressionist artists were inspired by the urban environment and its street life, mass transportation, restaurants, cinemas, circuses, cabarets, cafés, and theaters. Ernst Kirchner’s In the Restaurant demonstrates the rapid yet fluid linear sketching style the artist developed to capture the “real life” of urban Dresden. Later this linear sketching was reduced to fewer and thinner lines, as seen
in In the Studio.
For many Expressionists and their collectors, interior domestic spaces became Gesamtkunstwerke (total works) of art-dominated environments. Kirchner’s Berlin studio had every surface covered with painted drapes, statues (depicted on the right of In the Studio), paintings, and artist-designed furniture, all inspired by the art of Oceania. In this sense, In the Studio echoes the restaurant scene: both the city and the studio became constructed environments that completely embraced and surrounded the human figure.

Subject matter
Several groups of figures in what could be a restaurant setting, with background.

Physical Description
Artist's sketch from life; Kirchner developed a rapid, stroke-oriented (as opposed to detail-oriented) sketch style when out in the world. Appears to be (though not with certainty) two men conversing on the left, a man accompanied by a woman in a very tall hatt in the center/center-right, and a figure in the far right bottom corner foreground leaning toward a surface (a piano? cleaning a table?). Background and tables are suggested with various lines, but unclear.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
life drawing

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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4 Related Resources

All Artists in the Degenerate Art Show
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Café Culture
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)
Expressionism - die Brücke
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
Sociability and Social Spaces
(Part of 4 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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