This image is presented as a "thumbnail" because it is protected by copyright. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts respects the rights of artists who retain the copyright to their work. Title:The Way Home, plate from "Die Holle" (Hell)Artist:Max Beckmann
J.[Israel] B.[er] Neumann Date:1919Creation Place:Europe, GermanyCredit Line:The Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, 1967Image Copyright:Â©Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, BonnAccession Number:P.13,888
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.