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Lear with Cordelia’s Body (From King Lear)

Modern and Contemporary Art
Lear with Cordelia's Body

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Lear with Cordelia’s Body (From King Lear)

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Oskar Kokoschka
Austrian, 1886–1980

Date

1963

Medium

Lithograph on paper

Accession #

1979.61 P

Dimensions

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

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.

Credit

Gift of Dr. Sherman N. Leis through the Ackerman Foundation

Image Copyright

© Fondation Oskar Kokoschka/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ProLitteris, Zurich


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