About this work
Heather Hess, German Expressionist Digital Archive Project, German Expressionism: Works from the Collection. 2011.
Here Ludwig Meidner, seen in a self-portrait in the foreground, beholds the city with wide-eyed glee. A radiant moon illuminates blocky apartment buildings and outlines smoking factory chimneys, while structures with jagged, crystalline roofs rise from the earth below. Meidner highlights the anonymous and utilitarian aspects of the city, the very aspects that distinguished it from the small town where he grew up. Later recalling the hours he spent with friends wandering Berlin at night, he wrote, "We were 28 years old then and had a lot of endurance, which had not even run out by the time the sun came up. . . . We were so much in love with the city."
This drawing dates from 1912, when Meidner enjoyed his first successes in Berlin. At this time, he made a series of pictures chronicling his experiences of the city, some of which became known as "apocalyptic paintings."