Felix Nussbaum (1904-1944). The Pearls. (1938).
Felix Nussbaum is often attached to the current of the “ new objectivity ”, running German which in the Thirties practical a realistic and often caricatural representation of the society. Nussbaum is a partisan of the painting of ideas, expressing a moral, political or philosophical opinion. He is painter and before any witness of his time and his condition. The condition of a persecuted Jew, fleeing the Nazism as soon as Shoah begins in 1933, caught up with to finish gassed in Auschwitz with all its family. The painting goes back to 1938 it is the year of the Night of crystal. Goebbels seizes the pretext of the assassination in Paris of a German diplomat by a young Jew to start through all Germany in the night of the from November 9th to 10th 1938 a wave of persecution. The synagogs and 7,000 stores are set fire to, all the Jewish cemeteries are destroyed. Violences are innumerable, of the thousands of people are stopped and interned in concentration camp. These facts are evoked with the background of the painting where it seems that even the tombs call the
Help! Nussbaum uses the symbol of the pearls transformed into tears to challenge the spectator and to take it to witness.
The point of view of the spectator is between the eyes of the young woman and the background.
The painting is centered on the face in tear, a pearl is on the geographical center of picture.
The painting is divided into 3 zones. In the foreground faces. With the background on the left exactions. On the right the cemetery.
The 2 pearls similar to tears which run locate on the downward diagonal from left to right. It is the same for the slope of the 2 faces.
This cemetery evokes confusions of the night of crystal in November 1938. The crosses in the foreground are like human beings seeking safety in the escape.
On these faces the eyes are black and empty. They evoke death and the anguish.
The background evokes multiple persecutions of the Jews in Germany and violences.
Light : The light comes from the right-hand side. It concentrates on the 2 faces.
Colors : Contrasts between cold and hot colors.
Similar Pictures :
Felix Nussbaum. Self-portrait with the Jewish Passport. (1943).
Felix Nussbaum. Jew on the Window. (1943).
Felix Nussbaum. Triumph of Death. (1944).