Franz Fiedler

Narre Tod, mein Spielgesell 

[Fool Death, My Playmate]

1921, portfolio of 10 photographs


Franz Fiedler (Proßnitz 1885 – 1956 Dresden)


Narre Tod, mein Spielgesell

[Fool Death, My Playmate]


published 1921, Verlag der Schönheit, Dresden


portfolio of 9 gelatin silver-bromide prints and 1 copper collotype (portrait and landscape formats), each mounted on cardboard

in the original half-linen portfolio with typographic title

with a text by Thea Girardelli

prints approx. 20 x 14 cm; portfolio 34,4 x 27 cm

The Daulton Collection

Condition: some silvering in the marginal areas; cardboard mounts have minimally compressed corners; text sheet has a few foxing marks; and the portfolio folder has some signs of wear and tear on the edges.


"The motif 'Death and Maiden' is probably one of the most popular in the visual arts. Beginning with works of the Renaissance, for example by Hans Baldung Grien, through works by Egon Schiele, and musical pieces from the 19th century to works of contemporary art in theater and literature, death appears as a seducer and lover of young women and reminds them in a grotesque way of the finitude and transience of youth, beauty and life. The threatening nature of the motif is the starting point for those representational formulas that are primarily linked to moral aspects." SKD

"In the portfolio 'Narre Tod, mein Spielgesell,' which the photographer probably created in Dresden in 1921, Fiedler creates depictions of the subject whose content reverses the roles of the protagonists. It is no longer the bone man who appears here as a seducer, but the young woman who approaches death teasingly and with youthful joy and at the same time reflects a carefree spirit of the 1920s. Last but not least, Fiedler shows his photographic talent in nudes, which reveals a sensitive feeling for rhythm and movement and to which he himself notes: 'Not the concrete or temporal aspect of the photographic nudes, but the idea in its eternal, formal and rhythmic design captivate and exhilarate us.' (Quoted from the exhibition catalogue Franz Fiedler. Photography, Brünn/Dresden 2005, p. 125)." SKD

Franz Fiedler was "a student of Hugo Erfurth and from 1908–11 an employee in his studio. A prize winner at the World Exhibition in Turin in 1911, Fiedler was active in Prague around 1913, where he belonged to the circle of Jaroslav Hasek and Egon Erwin Kisch. Fiedler moved to Dresden in 1916, where from 1924 he was one of the first professional photographers to work with the Leica camera. His publication on the city of Dresden in the spirit of the New Objectivity, one of the first topographical illustrated books to be created according to the principles of the new photography, represents a significant turning point in his work. A large part of his work was lost in the destruction of his studio on February 13, 1945."  SKD

portfolio cover:
text page:



Jack Daulton

The Daulton Collection