Ernst Ludwig Kirchner


Sich kämmender Akt

Material / Technique
Bildmaß 125 × 90 cm
Rahmenmaß 146,5 × 111 × 5,5 cm
Related Digital Projects
Acquisition details
Erworben 1971 aus dem Kunsthandel
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Sich kämmender Akt, 1913, Öl auf Leinwand, Brücke-Museum, Gemeinfreies Werk
Object Reference
Vorderseite von Violette Bäume


Das Gemälde wurde 1924 mit 23 weiteren Werken aus der Frankfurter Sammlung von Rosy Fischer an das Städtische Museum für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe in Halle verkauft (vgl. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Im Cafégarten, Inv.-Nr. 1/66). Im Kaufvertrag wurde vereinbart, dass von der Stadt Halle an Rosy Fischer (1869–1926) und nach ihrem Tod auch an ihre beiden Söhne, bis 1944 eine Rente zu zahlen sei. Diese Vereinbarung wurde aufgrund der nationalsozialistischen Verfolgung der Söhne nicht bis zum festgelegten Zeitpunkt eingehalten. In der Nachkriegszeit erhielten sie deswegen eine finanzielle Entschädigung. Nachdem das Gemälde im Juli 1937 in Halle im Rahmen der nationalsozialistischen Aktion Entartete Kunst beschlagnahmt worden war, übernahm es 1940 der Kunsthändler Ferdinand Möller (1882–1956) vom Deutschen Reich. Entgegen seines Auftrags veräußerte er das Gemälde nicht ins Ausland, stattdessen verblieb es in seinem Besitz. Nach seinem Tod behielt es seine Ehefrau Maria Möller-Garny (1886–1971) noch bis 1970. In diesem Jahr gelangte es zur Auktion bei Kornfeld und Klipstein in Bern, aus der die Galerie Kornfeld es selbst erwarb. 1971 konnte es hier für die Sammlung des Brücke-Museums angekauft werden.

Exhibitions (selection)

Literature (selection)

  • Leopold Reidemeister, Das Brücke-Museum, Berlin 1984.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller, Das Brücke-Museum Berlin, Prestel, München 1996.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Brücke. La nascita dell´espressionismo, Ausst.-Kat. Fondazione Antonio Mazzotta Milan, Mazzotta, Milano 1999.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Die Brücke. Meisterwerke aus dem Brücke-Museum Berlin, Ausst.-Kat. Brücke-Museum Berlin, Hirmer Verlag, München 2000.

  • Javier Arnaldo, Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Brücke. Die Geburt des deutschen Expressionismus, Ausst.-Kat. Berlinische Galerie, Hirmer Verlag, München 2005.

  • Javier Arnaldo, Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Brücke. El nacimiento del expresionismo alemán, Ausst.-Kat. Museo Thyssen-Bornesza Madrid/Fundación Caja Madrid, Madrid 2005.

  • Brücke. El naixement de l'expressionisme alemany, Ausst.-Kat. Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya Barcelona, Lunwerg, Barcelona 2005.

  • Dirk Luckow, Magdalena M. Moeller, Peter Thurmann (Hg.), Christian Rohlfs. Die Begegnung mit der Moderne, Ausst.-Kat. Kunsthalle zu Kiel / Brücke-Museum Berlin, Hirmer Verlag, München 2005.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Brücke-Museum Berlin, Malerei und Plastik. Kommentiertes Verzeichnis der Bestände, Hirmer Verlag, München 2006.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller und Rainer Stamm (Hg.), ... die Welt in diesen rauschenden Farben. Meisterwerke aus dem Brücke-Museum Berlin, Ausst.-Kat. Landesmuseum Oldenburg, Hirmer Verlag, München 2016.

  • Magdalena M. Moeller (Hg.), Brücke Museum Highlights, Hirmer Verlag, München 2017.

  • Christian Philipsen i. V. m. Thomas Bauer-Friedrich (Hg.), Bauhaus Meister Moderne. Das Comeback, Ausst.-Kat. Kunstmuseums Moritzburg Halle (Saale), E.A. Seemann Verlag, Leipzig 2019.

  • Meike Hoffmann, Lisa Marei Schmidt, Aya Soika für das Brücke-Museum (Hg.), Flucht in die Bilder? Die Künstler der Brücke im Nationalsozialismus, Ausst.-Kat. Brücke-Museum , Hirmer Verlag, München 2019.


Signiert unten rechts: EL Kirchner (Signatur)
Nicht bezeichnet (Bezeichnung)

Inventory Number

Catalog Number
Gordon 361

(Șeyda Kurt)

Be Your Most Amazing Self: Why the Wellness Hype is a Myth that Feeds off our Hope

Tips become “rituals,” ordinary self-maintenance becomes self-love. Everything becomes a religion; it’s all “game-changing.” Everything has to be true in a world that seems somehow too ambiguous for many – even if it’s just about drinking water. But one question is asked far too rarely: if wellness is the way ahead, what is actually the goal?

What could be nicer than spending a day at the spa, wrapped in a soft bathrobe, leisurely drifting between sauna and whirlpool, letting the exhaustion of the last few weeks creep to the surface by pleasantly stimulating the body, and then watching it trickle away in absolute idleness?

The reason why wellness is so popular in our often overworked, mentally overstrained Western European society is self-evident. But it is no longer necessarily a question of zeitgeist. Instead, a different concept has been gaining traction for some time now, one that is primarily attracting attention by going viral: self-care.

Millions of posts on social media use this hashtag – from expensive-looking outfits and even more expensive facial oils to selfies of yoga sessions by candlelight or homemade chocolate brownies. Self-care, as the term inevitably suggests, is about tending to oneself.

It does not refer to the elementary necessities that are part of most adults’ lives: eating, hygiene, and sleeping. Although – this association is not that far-fetched as a start. Originally, the term wasn’t really about much more than each person’s ability to make decisions that preserve and promote their well-being.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. But now this trend wants more. Everyday life, mental processes, and the way we look at our lives need to be restructured. A colleague once wrote that self-care is also about “deciding to be the best version of ourselves.” Where can I find the definition of it and who decides which one it is? Since that’s essentialist rubbish, and no one will ever know what the “best version” of themselves is supposed to be, some people look for answers elsewhere. At Goop, for example.

American actress Gwyneth Paltrow is behind this 250-million-dollar company. She started Goop in 2008 as a simple newsletter. Not only did she give tips for restaurants in Paris, but also provided the content that today makes Goop a self-proclaimed “modern lifestyle brand”: How can I effortlessly organize my thoughts? How do I attain individual fulfilment in ten steps? In other words, questions that people spend years painstakingly studying before they are allowed to help other people professionally. These days, you can find designer bags for €680 on the Goop website, along with recommendations on which piece of jewellery to wear on a particular trip to a European metropolis. Men can also get their money’s worth with a shaving brush for €38.

It’s no coincidence that these products are unaffordable for most. It’s not just a different version of your body that’s being sold. It’s no longer just about physical healing, rather the mindset that comes with it. The more expensive the yoga course is, the more it means I’m worth, which is to say: worthier than others.

Self-care has long been a matter of faith. We have Goopists on the one hand and people like Jen Gunter on the other. A gynaecologist and author, Jen uses her blog to try and clear up the alleged health tips that Goop puts out into the world.

In an open letter to Paltrow, she writes: “Tampons are not vaginal death sticks, vegetables with lectins are not killing us, vaginas don’t need steaming.” In 2017, even the American space agency NASA had to get involved. The $120 Body Vibes stickers, which according to Goop are made of the same material as space suits to rebalance the energy frequency in the body, are bullshit.

These concepts are clearly being devised by people who have learned that it is important to listen to bodily needs. This is a huge privilege – not only in terms of money, but also in terms of the time and energy it takes. Not everyone has learned that their physical integrity should be relevant: their bodies should merely work and function.

From their point of view, the people behind companies like Goop have also clearly learned how to draw the allegedly correct conclusions from their bodies’ signals. But actually, who can really tell what they are supposed to be? It could be that in a hundred years, scientists will shake their heads and wonder why we were collectively so busy flushing as many minerals as possible out of our bodies with so much liquid.

Ultimately, we are told about what is good for us from the perspective of those who have the voice, the prestige, and the representation for it – as well as the cash, of course. Here are three tips that would help most people in this world to feel better about their bodies: less strenuous physical work, shorter working hours, less existential anxiety.

Of course it’s important to listen to our needs, to not let ourselves be exploited, to get enough sleep, treat ourselves well, even to buy stuff! The problem starts when this leads the body to become symbolically charged, when the bodies of people who are read as women are subjected to further regulations, when predominantly white, affluent people fetishize other cultures on their alleged quest to find themselves.

Sure, drinking tea may be practised as a spiritual ritual in Japan, but buying that relaxing tea one time at the organic market isn’t the same thing. It’s just a superficial attempt to buy into a cultural practice without much thought. And it doesn’t make your life any better.

In that sense, self-care isn’t too far removed from fashionable Western European backpackers searching for something primordial—the word is so atrocious, you don’t even want to spell it out: three weeks of pure nature, instincts instead of analysis, warmth instead of emptiness, manual labour instead of alienation, purity instead of an Instagram filter (which is inevitably used on the photos posted from the trip).

Behind this mindset, there is a lot of Western complacency and exoticization based on racist stereotypes. But more than anything else, there is also naivety. Every person and every body is a product of their environment, history, cultural practices, and preconceived realities. To think that one can simply shed these during and after such a trip is nothing more than a promise by cunning travel agents.

Goop also offers an Escape Guide with expensive destinations for the next retreat from everyday life, like wineries and farms. Going back to the roots, producing, eating, and growing your own food… It makes you think, If only I didn’t have to worry about my designer clothes getting dirty. But the Guide gives the all-clear: “Many of these getaways are on working farms, meaning you often get to experience the entire production line (without necessarily getting your hands dirty).”

Everyone’s sense of belonging to an ominous nature should have been severed after birth, at the very latest, when we first saw a bright light held by human hands shining on us in a delivery room. Since then, our view and our expectations of nature have also been socially acquired.

This doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with developing a new awareness of our bodies or ceasing to understand the tool we use to access the world and become part of it as a foreign object. But can it ever work if it’s only being idealised, discussed and marketed in such a way, by everyone from nature fans to corporate executives?

Self-care becomes dangerous when it’s no longer about the body being well, when its wellbeing instead stands for something that can be valued or devalued: a lifestyle and a state of mind. The well-balanced woman seems to be the one who smiles and glows, inside and out, one who is naturally beautiful (while applying $30 face masks).

In its present form, self-care is not least a desire for a presumably personal normalisation, getting back to what seemed right in the first place. Neither is there such a thing, nor is a discordant self – one that has doubts, that is restless and angry – something to fight against, especially given the unachievable expectations placed on our bodies. Quite the opposite.

(Betül & Brigita ) Interview Self-confidence
(Stephanie ) Interview Feldenkreis
(Isabel Fischer )
About the work
(Șeyda Kurt )
Be Your Most Amazing Self
(Sonja Eismann )
The Male Gaze
(Konni ) Mindfulness
(Betül ) Feminist Image
(Franzi )
(Lena ) Male Gaze
(Josephine ) Self Care
(Brigita ) Shame
(Betül ) Feeling of Safety