Related themes

Expressionism and Nature

For the German Expressionists, nature was an arena for healing and freedom.

Killing of the Banquet Roast (Erlegung des Festbratens) from the periodical Der Sturm, vol. 2, no. 93 (January 1912)

Max Pechstein
(German, 1881–1955)

1911. Woodcut, with watercolor additions, composition: 8 7/8 x 10 3/8" (22.6 x 26.4 cm); sheet: 9 7/16 x 11 7/16" (24 x 29 cm)

African art was an inspiration for Max Pechstein and his fellow Expressionist artists. This scene of a male hunting with a bow and arrow as two females look on from beneath a flowering tree was copied from a bronze plate made in the east African country of Benin. To capture the flatness of the plate, Pechstein made the a woodcut print by roughly gouging the wood block, using only thick lines, and distilling the scene into basic forms to create a sculptural effect. The title, Killing of the Banquet Roast, suggests this hunt anticipates a banquet feast—often a formal affair honoring someone or something.

A setting for or a part of a story or narrative.

A printmaking technique that involves printing an image from a carved plank of wood. The image is cut into the wood using tools such as chisels, gouges, and knives. Raised areas of the image are inked and printed, while cut away or recessed areas do not receive ink and appear blank on the printed paper. Woodcuts can be printed on a press or by hand, using a spoon or similar tool to rub the back of the paper.