View of Davos with Church (Davos in the Summer)
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Kirchner presents this townscape of Davos, Switzerland, in the warm light of a summer evening. The colours used are bright and exaggerated. A founding member of Die Brücke (an offshoot of Expressionism), the artist wanted to use colour to give expression to feeling and emotion. The vivid colours in the work, especially the pink-purple which dominates the mountains and is repeated in the sky, roofs, and edge of the fountain, are successful in communicating a feeling of happiness and peacefulness; we believe this to be a functional, joyful community. This sense of closeness and quaintness is re-emphasised in the composition, in which the background mountain range surrounds the town as if in an embrace, curving around the painting’s edges. Under the Nazi regime, Kirchner’s works were considered “degenerate” and many hundreds of his pieces were destroyed. The flattened, non-classical style in which Kirchner has painted this landscape is exactly what the Nazis believed to be essentially “non-German”.