© Ludwig Meidner-Archiv, Jüdisches Museum der Stadt Frankfurt am Main
Ludwig Meidner, German, 1884 - 1966
Title: Bettler
Date: 1916
Medium: Reed pen and ink, brush over pencil on cream paper
Sheet: 58.5 x 45.5 cm
Signed: lower left: LM [in monogram], 1916
Credit Line: Purchased, 2020
Object Number: NGI.2020.3
DescriptionThis pen and ink drawing is from a series of twelve drawings, all reproduced in Ludwig Meidner’s book, In Nacken das Sternenmeer (In the nape of the sea of stars), (Kurt Wolff Verlag, Leipzig 1918).
These drawings are among the main works of Expressionist book illustration. The work “beggar” was published with the following text by Meidner: “Often I sat on a bench, frozen in pain and counting over and over again my lost years, the years crawling by in poverty and hunger. I nursed anger within myself, and anarchy. I recognized you at once, brothers of a shared fate. Homeless, deserted old women, men without work or home, their step uncertain, their eyes empty, stumbling along so pitifully. Did I not walk behind you, sometimes for hours, and did this not lessen my misfortune somehow? In this drawing Meidner reflects on his own life circumstances, as he too often suffered due to poverty. This drawing is a reflection of Meidner’s own life circumstances, as, like the beggar, he lived through periods of abject poverty.

ProvenanceFrankfurter Kunstkabinett Hanna Bekker vom Rath, Frankfurt a. M.
Collection D. Thomas Bergen, London and New York (as a loan to the Art Institute, Chicago) Collection Marvin and Janet Fishman, Milwaukee/Wisconsin Karl & Faber, Auction 233, October 28, 2010, Lot 84
Exhibition HistoryThe Graphic Work of Ludwig Meidner, Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Indiana, 1972

From Expressionism to Resistance - Art in Germany 1909-1936,
The Marvin and Janet Fishman Collection, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee/Berlinische Galerie, Berlin/Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt a.M./Kunsthalle Emden, Emden/The Jewish Museum, New York/Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska/High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 1990-1992.

Art as Resistance, The Marvin and Janet Fishman Collection, Museum Escher in Het Paleis, Den Haag/Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm/Helsingin Taidehalli, Helsinki/Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brüssel, 1995-1996.
Inscriptionlower right: stamp of flower

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