- Author: Oscar Kokoschka
- Museum: National Gallery (Prague)
- Year: 1940-1941 ⇐ Click image for larger version
Description of the picture:
Red egg - Oscar Kokoshka. 1940-1941. Canvas, oil. 63x76
Austrian painter of Czech origin Oskar Kokoschka belonged to a family of famous Prague jewelers and in his youth he studied at the Vienna School of Applied Art, where Gustav Klimt was one of his teachers. At the insistence of architect A. Loos, who introduced the young artist to the circle of intellectuals, he began painting. Kokoschka admired the works of Van Gogh, drew a lot with colored pencils, joined the expressionists at the beginning of his creative activity.
The artist lived a long time in Berlin, traveled around Northern Europe, in 1933 he returned to Vienna, and a year later he moved to his ancestral homeland, to Prague. In response to the campaign against “degenerate” art launched by the Nazi authorities, he declared himself “degenerate” and even created a self-portrait with that name. In 1938, fleeing from the persecution of the German authorities, Kokoschka emigrated to London, where he took an active social position and sharply criticized Hitler’s aggressive militarism.
Picture "Red Egg" - a sample of sharp political satire, the artist’s reaction to the Munich Agreement that shook him, which, having satisfied the territorial claims of Germany, Hungary and Poland to Czechoslovakia, actually led to the division of the country.
The small canvas seems to be large-scale, its colors are so bright, the free strokes are wide and strong, the grotesque characters are large. Performed in the expressive manner characteristic of the author's early works, the picture strikes with the beauty of warm colors and the deformity of ugly antiheroes.
On the table in the middle of the round tray is a bright red egg shell, from which the contents have already flowed, according to an old tradition - this is a symbol of the victim. To whom it is brought - it is not difficult to guess. The instruments have already been laid out, a fat cat is licking under the table, two terrible heads eagerly opened their mouths on the right and left, in which you can find out caricatures of Hitler and Mussolini. The British lion in the crown is pawed on a pile of documents with a clear “Munich” (“Munich”) sign, and in the distance, next to a stylized image of a city like Prague, looms amorphous red crab figure - an image reminiscent of Winston Churchill's slowness.
Other paintings by Oscar Kokoschka
Charles Bridge in Prague
Hans Tietze and Eric Tietze-Konrat
Watch the video: J. van Eyck, "Boffons" from "Der Fluyten Lust-hof" 1646 (February 2020).