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Blind Power
  • © Viola Roehr-von Alvensleben, München
  • Repro: Kai-Annett Becker
    • Rudolf Schlichter (1890 - 1955)

  • TitleBlind Power
  • Date1932/1937
  • CategoryGemälde
  • MaterialÖl auf Leinwand
  • Dimensions179 x 100 cm (Bildmaß), 196 x 115 x 8 cm (Rahmenmaß)
  • Signaturesigniert und datiert unten rechts: "R. Schlichter 1937"
  • Inventory NumberBG-M 1984/79
  • CreditlineSammlung VEBA, 1979
  • On DisplayYes

Against a dark sky, a muscular warrior strides across a rocky plateau towards the abyss. He is armed with a hammer and sword as insignia of violence and with legal texts and measurement devices as symbols of law and science. Behind him, in a landscape of devastation, cities are burning. Schlichter works here with two opposites: detailed photographic precision and fantastical visual creations. The fabulous beasts gnawing at the warrior can be interpreted as six of the seven deadly sins: pride, avarice, envy, lust, gluttony and sloth. The warrior himself, might represent the seventh deadly sin: wrath.

Political realities forced the artist to code his message in this manner. By 1937 the Nazis had consolidated such a grip on power at home that they were able to invade a number of other European countries in the years that followed. Schlichter’s visionary achievement is best expressed in the words he chose in 1949 to describe the art of his time: “With their nightmarish monsters, these pictures make us reel by confronting us so closely with the spurious foundations of our existence."