Mars His Idiot, 1937

Kerr Eby

Etching in dark brown ink

Gift of the Print and Drawing Council P.93.7

Not on View

Kerr Eby served with the American army in France during the First World War (1914-18). His experiences on the frontlines convinced him of the absurdity of war and violence. In the years after the war's end, Eby produced a series of prints based largely on sketches he made during his military service. Some were documentary, others far darker in tone.

In 1935, fearing the imminent threat of a second European war, Eby wrote an emotional anti-war essay that appeared in a gallery catalogue for an exhibition of his war prints. In the last print of the series, issued in 1937, Eby portrays Mars, the Roman god of war, as a murderous and insatiable monster who devours soldiers and entire armies. The etching takes its title from a book of the same name by British writer Henry Major Tomlinson, a prominent anti-war advocate, and reflects Eby's grave concerns about the rising specter of war.

Image: No Copyright–United States. Gift of the Print and Drawing Council

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