He was one of the protagonists of the first German expressionist pictorial movement. At school
From Chemnitz he met Erich Heckel and, in 1905, he followed in his footsteps and moved to the city of
Dresden to study architecture and paint self-taught. Next to
Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Fritz Bleyl he created in 1905 the expressionist group Die Brücke (The
Puente), with the intention of seeking a new pictorial language that would break with the past.
It was then that the young Karl Schmidt added to his name that of his birthplace and
became Schmidt-Rottluff. In the summers of 1907 and 1912 he went with Heckel to paint at
Dangast, and in 1911 he followed his companions in moving him to Berlin, where he resided for the remainder of his
During. World War I fought on the Russian front. With the arrival of Nazism in
The recognition of him eclipsed, and in 1937 he came to be considered a "degenerate artist".
He was expelled from the Reichskammer der Bildenden Künste, his paintings were removed from museums
and it was forbidden to exhibit his work. During these years of forced internal exile, he spent long
seasons at Lake Leba, in Eastern Pomerania, where he made numerous watercolors
During. World War II his studio was destroyed, so much of his work
it got lost. In 1947 he was hired as a professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin.
West from where he exerted an important influence on the new generations of
painters. In 1964 he was the main promoter of the Brücke-Museum in Berlin, which opened in 1967.
with works donated by the components of Die Brücke
His. expressionist style, with vigorous brushwork and brilliant colouring, evolved from a first
period under the influence of Van Gogh towards flatter and more synthetic forms. as their
colleagues of his, he made numerous woodcuts and was the first of them to also experiment
with lithography