Kaffeetisch (Coffee Table) is a typical interior for Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and, according to the artist, “is especially interesting in terms of color.” The actual identity of the guests portrayed in Kaffeetisch remains unclear. We only know that a woman with her two children were visiting the artist and his wife Erna Schilling in the Wildbodenhaus near Davos, where they had moved at the end of 1923 from a house in Lerchen. Kirchner is rendered sitting with his back to the beholder, engaged in intense conversation with his wife to the right and the guest positioned opposite. If the hand gestures are any indication, the girl is also participating in the conversation. While in Davos, Kirchner occasionally crafted, as part of his artist’s existence, furniture and free-form sculptural pieces, in addition to his works created through painting, drawing, and graphic means. The chair on which Kirchner is sitting is one such piece, but also the carved frame of the right bench, showing a figural relief of a mother with two children.


  • Title: Coffee Table
  • Creator: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
  • Date: 1923/24
  • Provenance: Acquired in 1948 with the support of the City of Essen
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Museum Folkwang
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Höhe: 119 cm
  • Collection: Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Breite: 120 cm

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