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George Grosz (1893-1959)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more Property from an Important New York Collection
George Grosz (1893-1959)

Der neue Reichstag zieht ein

George Grosz (1893-1959)
Der neue Reichstag zieht ein
signed twice 'Grosz' (lower left and lower right)
watercolor over pencil on paper
21 ¼ x 23 5/8 in. (54 x 60 cm.)
Painted in 1929
Vera Lazuk Gallery, Cold Spring Harbor, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, circa 1970.
Time, 27 January 1961, p. 61 (illustrated).
Cold Spring Harbor, New York, Vera Lazuk Gallery, George Grosz, May 1959.
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Lot Essay

Ralph Jentsch has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Der neue Reichstag zieht ein is a superb example of the Berlin street scenes for which the artist is most renowned. Executed between the early 1920s and 1932, the year before Grosz left Germany for the United States, the Berlin street scenes depict people of all different varieties on the streets of the busy metropolis. As Ralph Jentsch has noted about the present lot, “there is the rich next to the poor, or one can make out the properly dressed up businessman on the way to his office or on his return home, whilst prostitutes are walking up and down the streets, or one can see a group of newly elected members of parliament on their way to work.”
The present work is masterfully rendered, with painstaking attention devoted to the rendering of each character. Inherent in the work is Grosz’s criticism of German complacency and philistinism in the years leading up to the War. In the front of the pack, a well-fed, boorish man appears overly self-assured and self-important. Behind him, a fashionably attired woman in heavy makeup strolls along. Next is a neatly dressed man with a scar on his face, stiff and cautiously looking over his shoulder, the prototype of a radical national party devotee in the making. At the rear is the smiling, oblivious bureaucrat. As Jentsch has stated, “Grosz reads with clarity and far-sightedness the signs of his time. He characterizes in this work the kind of men, still representatives of the young Weimar Republic, that would not prevent but rather support a few years later the seizure of power by the militant and scrupulous Nazis.”

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