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Der Krieg

Der Krieg

1914

Heinrich Davringhausen

(German, 1894-1970)

Oil on canvas

Overall: 82 x 69.5 cm (32 5/16 x 27 3/8 in.)

Modern European Painting and Sculpture Sundry Purchase Fund 2017.99

Fun Fact

The Nazis seized 200 of this artist's paintings because they were considered "degenerate art."

Description

A member of a circle of avant-garde artists active in Cologne, Davringhausen painted this apocalyptic vision of a burning village in 1914 as a premonition of the violence and destructiveness of the First World War. Tiny black figures, some apparently carrying and shooting guns, are engulfed in a vortex of burning, collapsing buildings, perhaps alluding to the potential obliteration of cities and countries, even the social structures of Western Civilization. Through a masterful merging of expressionist emotion with Cubist and Futurist formal devices, Der Krieg (War) made a significant contribution to the theme of apocalyptic war scenes painted by the German Expressionists.

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