Peter Behrens

Der Kuss (The Kiss),

woodcut, 1898

rare signed proof impression

 

Peter Behrens (Hamburg 1868-1940 Berlin)

"Der Kuss" ("The Kiss")

six-color woodcut on Japanese laid paper

27,3 × 21,6 cm (sheet 50,8 × 32,5 cm) (10 3/4 × 8 1/2 in. (sheet 20 × 12 3/4 in.))

1898

signed in pencil lower right: Peter Behrens

 

A rare signed proof impression of this iconic Jugendstil print, published in the periodical "Pan", vol. IV, no. 2, July-August-September 1898; subsequently published in a smaller format in "L’Art Décoratif" (1899) and in

"Die Kunst" (1900).


"Considered by Behrens' contemporaries Friedrich Carstanjen and Otto Julius Bierbaum as one of the seminal images of the late nineteenth century, this print breaks with traditional graphic images and has the distinction of being the best known German woodcut of the period. The image is at the same time erotic and asexual. The decorative and symmetrically organized composition consists of two shown faces in profile surrounded by a mass of entangled hair against a dark green background. While apparently portraying a man and a woman, the openly linear modeling and the flat treatment of positive and negative spaces cancel the definition between the sexes, resulting in an androgynous couple. The braided locks suggest an indissoluble fusion, from which participants cannot extricate themselves."  G

Peter Behrens (Hamburg 1868-1940 Berlin)

"R. Dehmel," portrait of the poet Richard Dehmel

circa 1905/06

woodcut on firm Japan paper

33,7 x 25,8 cm (image), 46,4 x 31 cm (sheet)

signed in pencil lower right: Peter Behrens

The Daulton Collection

Symbolismus

The Daulton Collection

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