Logo - Cassandra - Visions of Catastrophe 1914 - 1945
Poster - Cassandra - Visions of Catastrophe 1914 - 1945

Exhibition | Prologue | Prophets of Catastrophe | 1918-1929 | 1930-1933

1933-1939 | Themes of the Times | Shadows over Europe | Epilogue



II. Prophets of Catastrophe

In Western history visionaries occur in the two most important mythical frames of reference: as seers in antiquity and as prophets in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Ever since the classical period artists, too, were believed to possess the gift of prophecy. This topos took on renewed relevance in modern art. Many artists saw themselves in the role of prophet, a role already acknowledged for them by their contemporaries. Or else the artists referred to seers and prophets in their works and interpreted these figures and the parts they played anew.

George Grosz
Self-Portrait as Warner, 1927,
Berlin, Berlinische Galerie – Landesmuseum für Moderne Kunst, Fotografie und Architektur,
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2008
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