Coquelicot Art of the First World War
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George Grosz, Dead Soldiers on the Battlefield, 1915, lithograph, 24.5 x 31.7 cm, location unknown

The death

85 - George Grosz

With great economy of means, Grosz tackles a theme then being popularised by photography: bare land, barbed wire, and bodies and ruins in the background. Yet, unlike a photograph, which presents these elements just like any others, Grosz reduces his drawing to a few lines, he does away altogether with volume, keeping only minimal signs. The drawing seems to exhaust itself, almost to disappear like a corpse in the earth. Some are still tensely poised in the death agony, one of them seems to be praying, but there is no room for hope or salvation in such a world.