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In FlagrantiEnlarge image

In Flagranti, 1883

Max Klinger
German, 1857 - 1920
etching on japan paper
62.8 x 45.6 cm; plate: 45.5 x 31.4 cm
Purchased 1978
National Gallery of Canada (no. 23131.3)

In the backyard of a villa, such as one found in the wealthy "Tiergarten" district of Berlin, a husband has just shot his wife's lover after catching them "in flagranti". The corner of the villa and the edge of a pedestal, on which stands a decorated urn, create a vertical division between married pair and lover, living and dead, building and black sky. Each figure is isolated within the composition, especially the woman who is imprisoned by the Eden-like vegetation. On top of the urn, which separates the wife from her husband, sits a snake, symbol of temptation.

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