Saturday, December 17, 2016

Favorite Paintings: The End of All Things by Maximilian Pirner

This is a painting I stumbled across recently by a fairly obscure (to me, at least) Czech artist, Maximilian Pirner (1854-1924). Pirner, like Böcklin (whose Island of the Dead I also greatly admire), seems to be something of a "one-hit wonder". As far as I can see (& maybe I'm wrong), his other work was not as impressive as this piece, with its epic yet intimate scale, dramatic otherworldly (apocalyptic) lighting & sweeping composition. Pirner also uses themes that I myself utilize—apocalypse, mythology, medusa, angels(?), and Death himself makes an appearance. At once dark & illuminated, heavy and weightless, filled with death & filled with life, this is a one-of-a-kind work (I'm tempted to say 'masterpiece', but that might be overdoing it) that should haunt the world for eternity.

Finis - The End of All Things, 1887, oil on canvas, 100 x 130cm

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