Hurrying Death leaves a bloody trace in this painting
as he drops the sword to grasp a palm branch.
Is the artist saying, “Death is the only True Peace?”
We cannot be sure. Professor Müller is dead,
so he can no longer be asked.
The meaning of the branch is disputable.
In Christian iconography, the palm branch identifies martyrs and
symbolizes victory over earthly matters. But considering the time
and place of the creation of this painting (1946, Dresden,) we might also
assume the artist is showing us the final, sad swansong of war.
Art is valuable to the degree that it triggers emotions.
Wizzo was never drawn to the little painting of bloody Death,
but he was curious regarding the price it would bring at auction,
so he kept an eye on it. Can you believe this tiny 6-inch by 6-inch
painting sold for 4,600 Euros, plus a 23% buyer’s premium,
plus a 2% ‘droit de suite’ added by German law?
We’re talking 7,566 dollars and 43 cents American, mi amigos.
That’s a lot of emotion packed into just 6 inches.
Is it always the art, itself, that triggers the emotion?
No, often the art is merely a point-of-contact
with an iconic figure with whom we identify.