Tempera paint and charcoal
49.4 x 56 cm (19 7/16 x 22 1/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 2017.102
© Fondation Oskar Kokoschka / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ProLitteris, Zürich
Catalogue raisonné: Strobl & Strobl 802
The large wall mural for which this painting on paper was a preparatory study was never executed because of the onset of World War I in Europe.
Oskar Kokoschka made this drawing as a preparatory design for a wall mural on the theme of the inevitability of death. His energetic strokes of color portray a woman giving birth aided by three female attendants. The newborn’s absence and death is relayed in the lifeless pallor of the mother. The wall painting was to have been painted within the reception hall of a new cemetery complex in Breslau, but was never constructed because of World War I.
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