Born in Aschaffenburg, on the outskirts of Frankfurt, Germany. Kirchner began to paint when he met Bleyl and Heckel at the Technisch Hochschule in Dresden. With the addition of Schmidt Rottluff, the four men formed the Brucke in 1905, and Kirchner had a leading role in this group. Through the works they created as joint exercises, Kirchner developed a style characterized by strong outlines and rough brushstrokes. When he moved to Berlin in 1911, his distinctive brushstroke became all the more apparent, and he developed a unique style with acutely angled forms. Suffering emotional damage from his experiences in the First World War, Kirchner retired to Davos in Switzerland in 1917 and began to paint majestic mountain scenes. In 1937 Kirchner's health worsened and his sense of isolation increased after the Nazis declared his works "degenerate art", leading him to commit suicide that year in Frauenkirche on the outskirts of Davos.