Abandoned, 21 January 1884
etching and colour aquatint on laid japan paper
43.4 x 57.7 cm; plate: 32.2 x 45.7 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 28275)
This print is from the series "Ein Leben (A Life)", consisting of fifteen plates charting the downfall of a woman from abandonment by her lover to tragic alienation from society. A ghostly fist rising amidst the clouds lends emphasis to the cruelty of her fate. The setting recalls the spiritual landscapes of the German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich’s painting "Monk by the Sea" (1809). In "A Life", Klinger addresses the hypocritical morality of his time towards woman’s role in society and the resulting injustices. This impression is dated 21 January 1884, identifying it as a rare first state before the edition.