Lear with the body of Cordelia
Act V, Scene III: “And thou no breath at all? Thou’ll come no more”
Kokoschka composed this final scene as a Pietà—a traditional pictorial type showing Mary, the mother of God, lamenting over the body of her son, Jesus, lying lifeless in her lap. This reference likens the Shakespearean tragedy to a religious parable, perhaps about the sinfulness of ignoring the natural bond and mutual responsibilities between parents and children.
Gift of Dr. Sherman N. Leis through the Ackerman Foundation