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Western art

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Dunes and pier



Karl Schmidt-Rottluff


01 Dec 1884 - 10 Aug 1976


Karl Schmidt was born in Rottluff, a town near Chemnitz, where his father owned a mill. After leaving school in 1905 he went to Dresden to study architecture and co-founded the Brücke group, having been introduced to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Fritz Bleyl by Erich Heckel. In 1906 he added Rottluff to his name. From 1907 to 1912 he spent the summers at Dangast, a fishing village on the cost north-west of Bremen, occasionally joined by Heckel. Later he spent time in the remote Baltic coastal towns of Nidden and Hohwacht.

Unlike other members of the Brücke who treated subjects of urban modernity, Schmidt-Rottluff’s thematic concerns focussed more on unpeopled rural landscapes which he viewed as a haven from the problems of city life.

Although ‘Dunes and pier’ is dated to 1917 it relates to landscapes from 1913 and 1914 depicting the bay and fishing boats of Nidden. It appears that the woodblock was carved in c.1913 but that the artist’s conscription into the army prevented him from completing the print until 1917 when he presumably cut the second block (to print the blue). The full edition of 100 was printed in the studio of F. Voigt, Berlin for Hyperion Verlag, Munich in 1923. The present impression features two hues of blue, one darker and more viscous than the other, creating a richly variegated surface. The blue block was printed first then the black drawing was printed on top of the blue impression. For the Hyperion edition only one hue of blue was used.


Alternative title

Dünen und mole



Media category


Materials used

colour woodcut, printed in black and two shades of blue


29.0 x 33.2 cm image (irreg.); 57.4 x 51.8 cm sheet

Signature & date

Signed l.r., pencil "S.Rottluff". Not dated.


Purchased 2011


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

Works in the collection


Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, Purchased by the AGNSW from Rex Irwin 2011

Galerie Commeter, Hamburg, Hamburg/Germany

Referenced in 6 publications


Brücke Museum, Berlin, Die Brücke, 1992, 293. no.246

Stephanie D’Alessandro, German expressionist prints : the Marcia and Granvil Specks Collection, 2003, (illus.). no.433

Starr Figura, German Expressionism: the graphic impluse, 2011, (illus.). no.80

Reinhold Heller, Brücke: German expressionist prints from the Granvil and Marcia Specks collection, 1988, 296-97. no.20

Rex Irwin Art Dealer, The age of Expressionism 1900-1929, 2011, 7 (colour illus.).

Dr Rosa Schapire, Karl Schmidt-Rottluffs graphisches werk bis 1923, 1969, (illus.). H 195