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Gegner (Adversaries) by Erich Heckel

Gegner (Adversaries) by Erich Heckel

Simon Theobald Ltd



Edition Size: small but unknown size

Image Size: 25 x 24.3 cm

Sheet Size: 57 x 45 cm

Reference: Dube H 236


Condition: Excellent

Details — Click to read

Gegner is realted to the important painting Zwei Männer am Tisch of the same date and which is now in the Kunsthalle Hamburg. The composition of the woodcut is reversed. Two men are at a table on which there is a knife with a gleaming blade. Behind them on the wall is a picture of Christ

Heckel was engrossed in the work of Dostoyevsky at this period, and this subject has been related both to The Brothers Karamazov and to The Idiot.  Heckel was intrigued by the psychological complexities in Dostoyevsky’s work and the theme of two men with a knife between them was particularly compelling.

In The Idiot (1869), Prince Myschkin and Parfyon Rogozhin who are in a triangular relationship with Nastassya Filippovna meet and despite their declarations of Brotherhood (beneath a Holbein painting of the Body of Christ in the Tomb) Rogozhin later attempts to stab Myschkin.

Dostoyevsky was captivated by the Holbein painting. In 1867, his wife had to drag her husband away from the picture in case its grip on him induced an epileptic fit.  Prince Myshkin, after viewing the painting in the home of Rogozhin, declares that it has the power to make the viewer lose his faith

There is an impression of this woodcut in the Museum of Modern Art, New York

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The Artist

Erich Heckel

Erich Heckel was the founding member of the group Die Brucke. He was born in 1883 in Germany and between 1897 and 1904 studied architecture in Dresden. He left shortly after the foundation of Die Brucke, where he was the secretary and treasurer. In 1907 he resigned from his architectural position to become a full time artist.

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