Heckel and other members of Die Brücke greatly admired the work of Edvard Munch, and aimed to make a “bridge” between traditional neo-romantic German painting and modern expressionist painting. The four founding members made much use of the print as a cheap and quick medium with which to produce affordable art.
As the beauty of African art was introduced to the world in the early 20th century, inspiring the likes of Picasso and Matisse, it also served as an inspiration to the members of the Die Brücke. It was Heckel’s brother who introduced the group to African sculpture. It was through this style that they found a source of strength to propel their own works forward in a new, less traditional and much more liberated way.