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A portrait of a man with goatee and mustache against a blue background.

The portrait is made up of sharply defined planes and triangular shapes. The man faces right, his features are exaggerated, his brown hair is short and applied in thick strokes, his forehead is wide, with blocks of highlighting on the left. Two arches form eyebrows over large half-moon shaped blue eyes, the nose is triangular over a moustache of rough brown brushstrokes. The chin is sharply pointed with a brown goatee. The background is in shades of dark blue on the right with angular planes of light blue surrounding the head.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, German (Aschaffenburg am Main, Germany 1880 - 1938 Davos, Switzerland)
Alfred Döblin
Other Titles
Original Language Title: Porträt Dr. Alfred Döblin
Work Type
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
50.8 x 41.3 cm (20 x 16 1/4 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: recto, at l.l.: E.L. Kirchner (date illegible)


Recorded Ownership History
Rosy and Ludwig Fischer, Frankfurt am Main, by 1925, bequest; to Max and Ernst Fischer (1926-at least 1931.) (Ferdinand Möller, Berlin 1931]. [Buchholz Gallery, New York (by 1942-1951)], sold; to Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1951.

Painting was offered for either exhibition or sale, per Möller documents at Berlinische Galerie archives.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Association Fund
Accession Year
Object Number
Modern and Contemporary Art

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Publication History

  • Peter Selz, German Expressionist Painting, University of California Press (Berkeley and Los Angeles, CA, 1957), p. 299, plate 137, ill
  • Charles Werner Haxthausen, "The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard: the Germanic Tradition", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 403-413, p. 410
  • Expressionism: A German Intuition 1905-1920, exh. cat., The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation (New York, 1980), p. 130, cat. 133, ill. (b/w)
  • Charles Werner Haxthausen, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), p. 30, repr.
  • Emily D. Bilski, Berlin Metropolis: Jews and the New Culture 1890-1918, exh. cat., The Jewish Museum, New York and University of California Press (Berkeley and New York, 1999), fig. 65, p. 70
  • Dr. Frank Möbus and Dr. Friederike Schmidt-Möbus, ed., ed., Dichterbilder: von Walther von der Vogelweide bis Elfriede Jelinek, Philipp Reclam jun. GmbH & Co. (Stuttgart, 2003), p. 126-127, col. ill.
  • Jill Lloyd, ed., Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, 1880-1938, exh. cat., National Gallery of Art (Washington, 2003), cat. no. 96
  • Jill Lloyd, ed., Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: The Dresden and Berlin Years, exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts (London, 2003), cat. no. 96, color ill.
  • Peter Nisbet and Joseph Koerner, The Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, ed. Peter Nisbet, Harvard University Art Museums and Scala Publishers Ltd. (Cambridge, MA and London, England, 2007), p. 168
  • Annick Haldemann, Wolfgang Henze, and Martina Nommsen, ed., Rethinking Kirchner, Hirmer (Munich, 2018), p. 15, fig. 7, ill. (color)

Exhibition History

  • Kirchner, Galerie Ludwig Schames, 10/01/1916 - 10/31/1916
  • Twentieth Century Portraits, The Museum of Modern Art, 12/09/1942 - 01/24/1943
  • Kirchner: First American Retrospective Exhibition of Oils, Watercolors, Prints, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 12/08/1950 - 01/12/1951
  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner: A Retrospective Exhibition, Seattle Art Museum, 11/23/1968 - 01/05/1969; Pasadena Art Museum, 01/16/1969 - 02/23/1969; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 03/20/1969 - 04/27/1969
  • Künstler der Brücke in Berlin 1908-1914, Brücke-Museum Berlin, 09/01/1972 - 11/26/1972
  • Alfred Döblin 1878-1978, Schiller-Nationalmuseum, 06/10/1978 - 12/31/1978
  • Works from the 20th Century Collection of the Busch-Reisinger, National Gallery of Art, Washington, 06/15/1980 - 09/01/1980; Wildenstein Gallery, New York, New York, 09/23/1980 - 10/24/1980
  • Deutsche Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts aus dem Busch-Reisinger Museum, Stadtische Galerie im Stadelschen Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, 10/23/1982 - 01/16/1983; Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin 30, 02/10/1983 - 04/17/1983; Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, 05/08/1983 - 06/26/1983
  • I Am The City. Man and City in German Painting from Expressionism to the Present, Berlinische Galerie, Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur, Berlin, 08/15/1987 - 11/21/1987
  • Berlin Metropolis: Jews and the New Culture 1890-1918, Jewish Museum, New York, 11/14/1999 - 04/23/2000
  • Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 06/28/2003 - 09/21/2003
  • 32Q: 1500 Art in Germany Between the Wars (Expressionism-Interwar), Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/05/2019 - 07/31/2021

Verification Level

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at