Karl Schmidt-Rottluff: Liegender weiblicher Akt (1946)
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Lupinen am Fenster (Lupines at the Window), 1922
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1 December 1884 – 10 August 1976) was a German expressionist painter and printmaker, one of the four founder-members of the artist group Die Brücke.
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Portrait of Emy, 1919.
North Carolina Museum of Art.
This portrait of the artist’s young wife still has the power to startle. The strident colors and skull-like visage would seem grotesquely ill suited to the image of a loved one. But Karl Schmidt-Rottluff means no insult to Emy Frisch. Like other German modernists, he had little interest in copying the outward appearance of things: that job was better left to photographers. Art was too serious to merely imitate nature-or even to honor tradition. With all the passion of youth, the artist insisted he was moved only by “an inexplicable yearning to lay hold of what I see and feel and then to find the most direct expression possible for such experience.”
In Portrait of Emy, the artist transforms his wife’s pensive face into a stark yet strangely serene mask. However, serenity is upset by the fiery color. Writing soon after this portrait was painted, the German art historian (and founding director of this museum) W. R. Valentiner declared that the willfully unnatural colors of the portrait “express the struggle between vision and reality, between the here and now and the beyond.” For Valentiner that struggle was hopeful: “the red flames surrounding the form promise the victory of the spiritual.”
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Drei am Tisch (Three at a Table), 1914
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Sitzender weiblicher Akt (Seated Female Nude), 1913
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges. The areas to show ‘white’ are cut away with a knife or chisel, leaving the characters or image to show in ‘black’ at the original surface level. The block is cut along the grain of the wood (unlike wood engraving where the block is cut in the end-grain). The surface is covered with ink by rolling over the surface with an ink-covered roller (brayer), leaving ink upon the flat surface but not in the non-printing areas.
Multiple colors can be printed by keying the paper to a frame around the woodblocks (where a different block is used for each color). The art of carving the woodcut can be called “xylography”, but this is rarely used in English for images alone, although that and “xylographic” are used in connection with blockbooks, which are small books containing text and images in the same block. Single-leaf woodcut is a term for a woodcut presented as a single image or print, as opposed to a book illustration.
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Dr. Rosa Schapire, 1919
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff - Landscape with Lighthouse (Landschaft mit Leuchtturm) - 1922
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Die weißen Blumen, 1968.
Watercolor and india ink drawing