Plate 2

The Way Home (Der Nachhausweg), plate from "Die Holle" (Hell), 1919

Max Beckmann; Printer: J.B. Neumann, Berlin

Lithograph

The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 1967 P.13,888

Not on View

The Way Home is the opening scene in Beckmann's acclaimed graphic cycle Die Holle (Hell), a dark and disturbing essay on the collapse of German society in the aftermath of the First World War (1914-18). Set in postwar Berlin, the allegorical scene features Beckmann as a man on his way home who suddenly encounters a horribly disfigured veteran under the light of a street lamp. Bearing the scars of war, the once proud soldier symbolizes the fate of Germany itself, broken and defeated. In the foreground, a menacing black dog warns of the dangers that lie ahead. Beckmann further enhances the tension of the scene by crowding his figures into a shallow pictorial space. Above all, The Way Home is a powerful denouncement of war.

Image: No Copyright–United States. The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 1967

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