Museum Folkwang
Farbentanz I. Entwurf für den Festsaal im Museum Folkwang
  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
  • Farbentanz I. Entwurf für den Festsaal im Museum Folkwang, 1932

  • Colorful Dance I: Design for the Ceremonial Hall at the Museum Folkwang
  • Oil on canvas
  • 100 x 90 cm
  • Acquired in 1968 with the support of the Folkwang-Museumsverein and the Alfred und Cläre Pott-Stiftung
  • Inv. G 362
  • CommentaryThe painting ›Farbentanz I‹ (Colorful Dance I) was created as part of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner’s proposal for the large ceremonial hall at the Museum Folkwang in Essen. Ernst Gosebruch had come up with the idea of having artists design certain rooms in the scope of planning the new construction of the museum, which started in 1925. This included the planned ceremonial hall, in the context of which Gosebruch contacted Kirchner in the summer of 1925, asking him to paint the entire room. Kirchner immediately started work on the project and developed a cycle on the theme ›Arbeit und Leben‹ (Work and Life) that dealt with landscapes and people, life forms, and living conditions—and also with dance. For the wall behind the elevated podium in the ceremonial hall, which had a sacral feel to it, Kirchner wanted to include a large-format, colorful dance. In this version of ›Farbentanz I‹, and also in other paintings, watercolors, drawings, and even color lithographs, Kirchner cultivated various aspects of this topic. As Kirchner wrote in a letter to Carl Hagemann, a friend who was an art collector:
    »… the sun from above, sending colorful rays, red, blue, yellow, onto the dancing women and flowery meadow below. The draft already looks cheerful and inviting of joy.« The three dancing figures may be interpreted as representatives of the three primary colors, which are, in turn, derived from a prism emanating from the light source at the apex of the composition. Moving from this central light source reminiscent of the sun, the rays spread out in a rainbow-like array of color. Shading and accents running lengthwise and vertically structure the composition, easily eliciting associations with landscape impressions. Kirchner experienced his first years spent in the Swiss town of Davos after convalescing as a period of exploration, and he asserted that artistic modernism did not start until the years 1925–26: »Modernism is still in its very early stages. It has barely just begun; it is still to come,« stated Kirchner, who had long been working on a ›New Style‹. The colorful dance was created during the late stages of the shifts in form found in Kirchner’s painting style. He was no longer rendering spontaneous experiences in ecstatic coloring and form, but instead, approaching the subjects much more consciously by more strongly cultivating impressions and using sketches and photographs to conceptually execute portrayals of figures and landscapes.
  • Provenance1938, Künstler
    1933 - bis in die 1950er Jahre, Dr. Frédéric Bauer, Davos
    1950er Jahre - 1968, Roman Norbert Ketterer, Campione
    1968, Kauf bei Ketterer, Museum Folkwang, Essen
  • Obj_Id: 3,349
  • Obj_Internet_S: ja
  • Obj_Ownership_S (Verantw):Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Obj_SpareNField01_N (Verantw): 187
  • Obj_Creditline_S: Gemäldesammlung
  • Obj_Title1_S: Farbentanz I. Entwurf für den Festsaal im Museum Folkwang
  • Obj_Title2_S: Colorful Dance I: Design for the Ceremonial Hall at the Museum Folkwang
  • Obj_PartDescription_S (Titelerg):
  • Obj_SpareMField01_M (Alle Titel): Farbentanz I. Entwurf für den Festsaal im Museum Folkwang Colorful Dance I: Design for the Ceremonial Hall at the Museum Folkwang Farbentanz I. Entwurf für den Festsaal im Museum Folkwang
  • Obj_Dating_S: 1932
  • Jahr von: 1,932
  • Jahr bis: 1,932
  • Obj_IdentNr_S: G 362
  • Obj_IdentNrSort_S: G 0362
  • Obj_Classification_S (Objtyp): Painting
  • Obj_Crate_S: 100 x 90 cm
  • Obj_Material_S: Oil on canvas
  • Obj_Technique_S:
  • Obj_SpareSField01_S (Mat./Tech.): Oil on canvas
  • Obj_AccNote_S (Erwerb): Acquired in 1968 with the support of the Folkwang-Museumsverein and the Alfred und Cläre Pott-Stiftung
  • Obj_PermanentLocation_S (Standort):
  • Obj_Condition1_S (Druckerei):
  • Obj_Condition2_S (Auflage):
  • Obj_Subtype_S (Genre):
  • Obj_Rights_S: © Museum Folkwang, Essen
Commentary
Artists
Provenance

1938, Künstler
1933 - bis in die 1950er Jahre, Dr. Frédéric Bauer, Davos
1950er Jahre - 1968, Roman Norbert Ketterer, Campione
1968, Kauf bei Ketterer, Museum Folkwang, Essen