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Between and Mortarboard

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Two Standing Nudes (Zwei Stehende Akte)

Accession Number

Two Standing Nudes (Zwei Stehende Akte)

Ernst Kirchner

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
ink with ink wash on wove paper

13 in. x 10 1/4 in. ( 33.02 cm x 26.04 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection

Label copy
Felix Albrecht Harta
Hungary, 1884–1967
Portrait of Arnold Schönberg
Graphite on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.112
Ernst Kirchner
Germany, 1880–1938
Two Standing Nudes (Zwei Stehende Akte)
Ink with ink wash on paper
Gift of the Ernst Pulgram and Frances McSparran Collection, 2007/2.93
In contrast to Boeckl’s more academic approach to the figure, other Expressionist figure studies demonstrate an extreme economy of line in the portrayal of the human form. Felix Harta, a Hungarian who lived in Austria, presents us with a detailed portrait of Arnold Schönberg—the Viennese composer, painter, and great friend to Expressionists—in as few lines as possible.
In 1909, Kirchner intentionally set out to economize the human figure. He produced hundreds of studies of the nude female, of which Two Standing Nudes is one. The drawing shows how Kirchner mastered the human form through its mere contours. Kirchner later journaled that these nude studies “gave me the power to speak of [woman’s] beauty in the purest image of womanhood....”

Subject matter
Two frontal female nudes, posing for the viewer.

Physical Description
Two nude women looking at viewer, standing 1/4 turn to the left. Left-hand figure has right hand behind head, right elbow in air; she also has "paper-colored" hair. The figure on the right has hands on hips, elbows pointing out; left elbow a half-inch from right side of image. Right-hand figure has black hair. Two lines, center and on the right, suggest a ground/floor.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

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