The Allegory of War

The Allegory of War – Grottger, circa 1910

I have not published many museum cards, the reproductions of art works that can be purchased by art lovers and museum visitors.

Museum postcards from the early years of the twentieth century are abundant.

These postcards have remained popular with many students and collectors, especially those who cannot afford expensive art books.

When I first saw this postcard image, I did not recognize the work or the artist, but thought the image was a great illustration of the year 2020.

The postcard illustration is, in fact, an Allegory of War by the Polish painter, Arthur Grottger.

Grottger died at a young age (30) in 1867, but he was the best of the Polish artists who lived internationally during the partition of Poland when the nation ceased to exist.

Much of his work was done in Vienna and Paris, but collections of his paintings are now exhibited in Cracow and other Polish cities.

One sees the apocalyptic horsemen passing over a desolate landscape with mournful figures.

The bleakness and despair are evident, despite the mediocre quality of the postcard reproduction.


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