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Among the numerous artists who were called up on the outbreak of the war or who volunteered for combat there were some, in particular artists associated with the cultural circles around Expressionism, who depicted themselves in their new personifications as soldiers. The self-portrait of the artist as soldier is a specific genre within avant-garde painting during World War I. It embodies a facet of artistic life which is particularly subject to contradictions and favourable to an allegorical interpretation. A military identity was not necessarily an alien state for the avant-garde artist; on the contrary, the often provocative, rebellious and aggressive nature of the Expressionist artists found itself at home in the figure of the artist-warrior. Despite this, on many occasions the self-portraits and portraits of artists as soldiers are far removed from images that celebrate aggressive positions. Thus, the uniformed artist also painted himself in the guise of victim or ill-fated individual, for example Kirchner in Self-portrait as a Soldier.