Eclipse of the Sun

Eclipse of the Sun-Georg Grosz 1926
A leading Berlin Dadaist (and therefore a card-carrying member of the Communist Psrty) and one of the most notable of the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit) artists, Georg Grosz’s satirical caricatures remain unsurpassed for their chilling clarity of vision and unflinching brutality of execution.

Portraying the Weimar Republic as a  society mired in decadence and corruption, Grosz’s paintings and drawings are populated by prostitutes, gamblers, perverted millionaires, bloated generals and fat-cat bankers. In 1926’s Eclipse of the Sun the dollar has obscured the sun, however the over-decorated general is receiving whispered advise from the top-hatted banker while the ‘suits’ complete the necessary paperwork so no need to worry. A blinkered donkey is advancing along a gangplank towards a shredder stuffed with money (a probable reference to the hyper-inflation that Germany was experiencing, where it was cheaper to burn money for fuel than to buy firewood). Down below people are trapped next to skeletons. Perhaps there is a need to worry after all.

26 thoughts on “Eclipse of the Sun

  1. Unflinching indeed. Great explanation. Sad, though, because Weimar was also the most liberal era, artistic endeavors and those of the intellect flowing, a near passage of a gay rights declaration, etc.

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    1. Thank you I am travelling at the moment I will know by tomorrow. This post is one of three that I posted back in June. After the way the pollsters got it so completely wrong in the uk with Cameron’s re election and Brexit I wasn’t as shocked as the media seemed to be in America. Polls are no longer accurate or relevant. History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awaken from as Joyce put it.

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      1. Travel safely, travel well. I said back in the Republican Primaries that Trump would sweep all before him. Find an emotional issue and lie about it while demeaning all your opponents with lies and more lies. Emotion beats logic every time. It’s a sad, sad world, it’s a bad, bad world!

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      1. Dada was pretty much disappeared before the Surrealists came into existence, though the early surrealists including Andre Breton were all involved in Paris Dada. The only major German figure to cross over was Max Ernst and Cologne Dada was nowhere near as politicised as Berlin Dada. New York Dada major figures were Duchamp, Man Ray and Picabia and they all were attached to surrealism to varying degrees. Hans Arp came over from the original Zurich group. Most of the Berlin group were involved in New Objectivity, more from the political realities in the Weimar Republic and were either hard line Communists or Anarchists. I am not sure there was really any unrest between the two because Dada had ceased to function as a movement, though individual artists retained the style. The Situationist later said that the Surrealists had betrayed Dada ideals but that was written to put distance between themselves and the Surrealists. A lot of art studies group them together so the title with be Dada/Surrealism.

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