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A MurderEnlarge image

A Murder, 1883

Max Klinger
German, 1857 - 1920
etching and aquatint on japan paper
62.5 x 45.5 cm; plate: 445.2 x 31.8 cm
Purchased 1978
National Gallery of Canada (no. 23131.9)

In the late afternoon in a working-class district of Berlin, a policeman struggles with a murderer, while a woman leans over the body of the stabbed victim. The movement of the crowd and the cropping of the image convey a photographic immediacy, which is further contrived through curving angles, giving the print an unsettling quality. The theatricality of the scene is also suggested by the point of view of the observer, who, like the curious and fearful woman leaning on the rail, witnesses the spectacle from a distance.

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