Winter Landscape in Moonlight Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Winter Landscape in Moonlight, 1919, is without doubt one of the most stunning landscape paintings to have come from the German Expressionist movement. Kirchner was highly skilled in this genre and also found working in the countryside relaxing, compared to frenetic city life.

The scene is set near Tinzenhorn mountain in the Swiss Alps. This picturesque location is brought to life through the bright, expressive work of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. This was an area in which the artist could recuperate after some mental health issues, problems that would impact him throughout his life and were particularly exacerbated by his experiences in WWI. The great outdoors have inspired many artists from the past few centuries but they also helped this artist in another way - piece and quiet away from hectic city life enabled him to recover, to a certain degree, as well as take an alternative genre into his oeuvre. He would focus on learning the changing conditions across the day and season in this region, just as the likes of Monet had done in the Impressionist movement.

The original artwork can now be found under the ownership of the Detroit Institute of Arts, who were gifted the piece by Curt Valentin. Many generous art collectors in the US have passed some or all of their work over to public institutions in an effort to allow more people to enjoy the art around which they are so passioniate. Others continue to see the art world as an investment opportunity and have much less interest in the cultural importance of these pieces. As the art world becomes more and more international, rich private buyers are continuing to snap up notable paintings and sculptures, but thankfully there are measures in place in some countries to keep this to a minimum.

The Detroit Institute of Arts, or DIA as it is sometimes known, has a collection that currently numbers around 65,000, making it hard to summarise so many pieces in just a few sentences. Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry cycle of frescoes is perhaps the most artistically significant highlights in the collection. A number of American artists are featured, such as George Bellows, Mary Cassatt, Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole, Thomas Eakins, Childe Hassam, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Yves Tanguy, Andrew Wyeth, and James McNeill Whistler. There is also a large number of European paintings as well, helping the collection to cover a good breadth of Western art more generally.

Winter Landscape in Moonlight in Detail Ernst Ludwig Kirchner