Ralph Jentsch has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Nightmare depicts the artist’s wife, Eva, surrounded by a stormy fire and the threat of terrifying shadows. What should have been a peaceful modeling session has erupted into chaos, the wind carrying her hat away and the canvas of the painting torn apart. Eva remains calm and seemingly unafraid amidst this nightmare. Grosz writes in 1946 to his aunt in Berlin: “Renoir never had the vision of a woman burned, crazed or destroyed…my world is more a gloomy, a haunted one. But here and there…there are areas without fear, pain and war, areas where nymphs live, where there is a sensuality of its own.” When asked if there is hope for the future, Grosz replied: “I do not know. Perhaps the Woman is the answer, for when I paint the Woman she stands solid and unafraid, sensual and warm, above the chaos.”