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Bacchanal

A work made of lithograph on ivory wove paper.

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  • A work made of lithograph on ivory wove paper.

Date:

1918

Artist:

George Wesley Bellows
American, 1882-1925

About this artwork

The title Bacchanal sickeningly describes this image of German forces pillaging and looting with drunken abandon and glee, even as they beat and murder village women and children. The print relates a sense of moral outrage at the depth of German depravity and brutality. The directional lines of the composition and the illumination of the scene create a focal point at the slight, limp body of the child at center, who is impaled on a soldier’s bayonet. The child’s seeming weightlessness and pale, glowing flesh symbolize the otherworldly suffering of these innocents, while the purity of this martyr renders the sinister debauchery surrounding him all the more obscene.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

George Wesley Bellows

Title

Bacchanal

Origin

United States

Date

Made 1918

Medium

Lithograph on ivory wove paper

Dimensions

470 × 610 mm (image); 600 × 800 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Gift of William T. Cresmer

Reference Number

1950.1649

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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