Gloom and Doom

Käthe Kollwitz - 1903 - Woman with Dead Child

Käthe KollwitzWoman with Dead Child, 1903, etching with lithography, 42 × 48 cm. Reminiscent of the traditional Pietà sculptures, the crouched figure has all the monumentality of its Renaissance predecessors (it may be no coincidence that soon after finishing this print, Kollwitz, by then almost 40, enrolled into a Paris art school to learn how to sculpt). As if this harrowing image was not haunting enough, the model for the boy was Käthe’s son Peter, who died only a decade later fighting in WWI, aged 21. Source:

which reminds me

Francisco de Goya - The Idiot

Francisco Goya, The Idiot, 1824–1828, black chalk on paper, 19 x 15 cm (formerly in the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg; destroyed during the WWII). It is one of those frightfully potent images that do not seem to age — and are unlikely ever to mellow. There is no charm in it, but only captivating horror and inescapable, almost palpable absence of hope. Like The Scream by Munch or the mask-like face of Eve in Masaccio’s Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, this timeless drawing is in a category all of its own. Art writer Julian Bell certainly agrees: “[I]mages such as this drawing are hard to place in terms of any specific reference. <…> Maybe one should detach the image from history, and submit it to some anthology on the theme of the scream, to join Munch, Bacon, the Laocoön, Niccolò dell’Arca to create a gallery of despair”. Source: Antiumanistica @ wordpress.




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