The Blind Women (Die blinden Frauen) (headpiece, page 38) from Umbra vitae (Shadow of Life)
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner illustrated the 1924 reprint of Umbra Vitae (Shadow of life), a posthumous collection of Georg Heym's Expressionist poems that was first published in 1912, the year of the poet's premature death, at age twenty-four, by drowning. Kirchner, who owned a copy of the earlier edition and knew the poems very well, designed all of the elements himself, including the 46 woodcuts throughout the book; the color woodcuts on the cover, the frontispiece, and the front and back endpapers; and the bold grotesque typography (fette Groteskletter). The illustrations, printed in a blacklike brown, serve as visual correlatives to Heym's hauntingly poetic images of "life's shadow." The dark sid ...
Woodcut from an illustrated book of fifty woodcuts
5.0 x 7.0cm
Image and text © MoMA - Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2019
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