Happy Birthday Ernst Ludwig Kirchner!! Born in 1880, Ernst Kirchner was the leader of Die Bruck (the Bridge), a group of contemporary expressionistic German painters. The bridge they attempted to create (perhaps unconsciously) was from “provincial Dresden to cosmopolitan Paris”. The bold use of color and lack of perspective principles linked them to the Fauves, however the awkward style set them apart. The group moved from Dresden to Berlin and Kirchner became fascinated with the seamy side of nightlife. The outbreak of World War I had a definite effect on the group, Kirchner volunteered for military service but was discharged a short time later due to mental stress. Kirchner became quite ill and in fact committed suicide at the onset of World War II, after much of his work was confiscated and destroyed or sold by the Nazis. The painting below is entitled Self Portrait as a Sick Person.