Felix Nussbaum. "The Great Disaster, c. 1939"

The Great Disaster, c.1939

The demise of Europe plays itself out against a backdrop of destroyed buildings. Both a full moon and the sun are visible in the somber, overcast sky. A group of figures appear in the center of the work, among them a woman crouching on the ground next to a standing figure with hands raised to the sky. The bodies of other victims are scattered throughout the scene. In the left foreground, two figures face forward; one covers her mouth with her hand, the other raises a hand to her forehead. The painting, done only in black, white and shades of gray, expresses Nussbaum’s sense of foreboding that the outbreak of war signals the destruction of European culture.

Gift of Roger-David Katz and his wife Louba Moscicka, Brussels
In memory of Yitzhak Tabolicki and his wife Guitele Katz; Leon Katz, his wife Irene Temkin and their daughter Esther; Lazare Goldstein, his wife Mala Katz and their children Harry and Dora; Eva Katz and her family; Nathan Schwartz and Feigl Moscicka and her children.

Felix Nussbaum

The Great Disaster, c. 1939

Indian ink and wash on paper
54,5 x 67 cm
Yad Vashem Art Collection