Between 2009 and 2014, art technologists, conservators, scientists and art historians cooperated in a research network promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) to deal with the painting technique of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938). The project partners participating in the Kirchner project were Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart, Kirchner Museum Davos, Schweizerisches Institut für Kunstwissenschaft (SIK-ISEA in Zurich) and the Doerner Institut.
The Doerner Institut focused its interest on the Kirchner collection of the Pinakotheken, including about a dozen paintings from his early period in Dresden and Berlin. These pictures underwent a thorough technological examination and material analysis. In addition, they were put into context with numerous other works, sketchbooks or personal testimonials of Kirchner. In this way, the complex development of the compositions, later reworkings such as on the painting “Tanzschule” (1914) or backdatings such as for Kirchner’s self-portrait “Selbstbildnis als Kranker“ (1918) can be reconstructed. It became obvious that Kirchner´s oeuvre was marked by continuous search and experiments, by critical self-questioning and ambitious competition.