The series of <i>Berlin Street Scenes of the years 1913 to 1915 are among the artist's most important group of works. Apart from numerous drawings, aquarelles and pastels, it is especially in his paintings that the artist depicted the hectic nightlife in the metropolis on the eve of the First World War. With more detail than his works with similar motifs, Kirchner captured the nighttime hustle and bustle on Leipziger Straße, a chic Berlin boulevard. Streetlights, neon signs and passer-byes under the arcades with their many shops impart the nervous tempo of a modern metropolis. On the right side in the foreground are two well-dressed ladies – in Kirchner's street scenes these were usually cocottes – and two elegantly dressed men with stovepipe hats following them. In the middle, a crowded tram – Line 88 – pushes forward between the two classical guardhouses on Leipziger Platz, to the left the two white beams of light of the streetlights attract the viewer's gaze; in the background the red of a neon light glows; to the right a facade leans into the picture: All this simultaneously and demanding the viewer’s close attention.


  • Title: Leipziger Straße with Electric Tram
  • Creator: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
  • Date: 1914
  • Provenance: Acquired in 1981 with the support of the Eugen-und-Agnes-von-Waldthausen-Platzhoff-Museums-Stiftung
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Museum Folkwang
  • Medium: Oil and mixed technique on canvas
  • Höhe: 71.5 cm
  • Collection: Painting, Sculpture, Media Art
  • Breite: 87 cm

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