The Dead Mother

Max Klinger



Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Max Klinger's etching is terrifying in its hushed stillness. The corpse of a dead mother, draped in white fabric and decorated with a crown of flowers, lies in what appears to be a mausoleum. Her starkly naked baby sits on her chest and stares back at the viewer. The etching is absolutely static; Klinger gives no indication of movement. One figure is dead, the other completely motionless. And the child's face is nearly expressionless; perhaps the horror of the work pertains only to the viewer's knowledge that the mother is dead. [Discussion by Tania Albin continued]