- Museum number
Object: Die Enttäuschten I (The Disillusioned I)
Series: Berliner reise 1922 (Trip to Berlin 1922)
Plate 2: The disappointed; group of figures, with sad faces, seated at table. 1922
- Production date
Height: 480 millimetres
Width: 370 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Text from Frances Carey and Antony Griffiths, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', BM 1984, no.153
The portfolio 'Berliner Reise' (Journey to Berlin) consisting of ten large transfer lithographs, can be seen as a sort of sequel to 'Die Hölle'. Compared with the earlier series the approach is more dispassionate, and the artist presents himself in the first introductory plate more as the neutral observer, pen in hand, than the critic and appalled participant. The plates are organised in a series of contrasts or parallels. 'The disappointed I' is the second plate, and shows a group of seven well-to-do people discussing in a circle the news brought to them by their conservative newspaper, the '[Neue Preussische] Kreuz-Zeitung' [a conservative daily endorsed by the Prussian aristocracy]. Their discontent, evident in their gestures and expressions, must be with the end of the German Reich and the establishment of Weimar democracy. The contrasting third plate, 'Night', portrays a poor family sleeping in exhaustion in a mean tenement block; the baby is given Beckmann's own features. The sixth plate is also entitled 'The disappointed', but the four people yawning as they conduct a desultory conversation are now identified as Communist ideologues by the publications they carry, which are speeches and addresses by Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht; the failure of the Spartacus rising has left them as disappointed as the monarchists.
'Berliner Reise' was drawn in the early months of 1922 and published by J.B. Neumann in April that year in a signed and numbered edition of one hundred. The two plates catalogued in Carey & Griffiths 1984, being neither signed nor numbered, must be a few spare sheets printed above the stated number in case of accident and thus left unsigned when they were not needed. None of the original transfer drawings seems to survive, though von Wiese catalogues several related pencil studies from a sketchbook (nos 498 ff.).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1984/5 Sept-Jan, BM, 'The Print in Germany 1880-1933', no. 153
1986 Jan-Mar, Norwich, Sainsbury Centre, 'Icon and Revolution'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number