Kunstsammlungen am Theaterplatz
Presentation of the Collection

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (1884–1976), Landschaft im Herbst, 1910, Öl auf Leinwand, 87,7 x 95,6 cm, Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz, Foto: Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz/PUNCTUM, Bertram Kober © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2020

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff
Painting and Sculpture

In the Kunstsammlungen am Theaterplatz, a total of about 500 works by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff are preserved as separate holdings and on permanent loan. The exhibition includes 47 paintings and two sculptures by the artist.

Schmidt-Rottluff was a co-founder of the Brücke group of artists (1905–1913) and is one of the most important German artists of the 20th century. His pictorial work is stylistically attributed to German Expressionism, of which he is one of the pioneers. His extensive oeuvre was created in a creative process that lasted more than seven decades. Today, the works of Karl Schmidt-Rottluff form the core of the Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz. The spectrum of the collection of paintings represents all of the artist’s creative periods: from early oil sketches from his high school days, through exemplary paintings from the Brücke years and the large landscapes of the 1920s and 1930s, to the mature, painterly late work up to 1963. The graphic collection, almost unique in its scope, comprises 134 watercolours and drawings, 234 prints – including 129 woodcuts, 53 lithographs, and 39 etchings – as well as 21 printing blocks.

As the earliest evidence of Schmidt-Rottluff’s artistic exploration, the Kunstsammlungen am Theaterplatz preserve a tree study from 1899, which he drew strictly according to nature, as noted on the sheet. At this time Karl Schmidt attended the Königliches Gymnasium zu Chemnitz (today’s Karl Schmidt-Rottluff High School). More than 70 years elapsed between this study of nature and the latest abstract color chalk drawings in the Kunstsammlungen’s holdings, dated 1970, during which time Karl Schmidt-Rottluff created his final artistic works in Berlin before his death. He died in 1976.