Lot 392
  • 392

GEORGE GROSZ (1893 - 1959) | John der Frauenmörder (John the Murderer of Women)

60,000 - 80,000 USD
150,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • George Grosz
  • John der Frauenmörder (John the Murderer of Women)
  • Signed Grosz and dated Oktober 1918 (lower left); signed Grosz, dated 1918 and inscribed Skizze du John der frauenmörder (on the verso) 
  • Watercolor and brush and ink on paper


Neue Kunst, Munich (acquired in 1920)
Sale: Stuttgarter Kunstkabinett, Stuttgart, May 3, 1961, lot 100
Norman Ganz, Geneva
Private Collection (and sold: Sotheby’s, London, November 29, 1989, lot 445)
William Louis-Dreyfus, Mt. Kisco, New York (acquired at the above sale)
Acquired by the Louis-Dreyfus Family Collections by inheritance from the above in 2016


New York, New York Studio School, George Grosz: Works on Paper, 1913-1925, 2013, illustrated in the catalogue


Hans Hess, George Grosz, London, 1974, no. 63, illustrated p. 80

Catalogue Note

The present watercolor is a study for a painting of the same title and date (see fig. 1). In 1917, Grosz began to draw satirical drawings reflecting the emotions he felt on witnessing the political situation ensuing in Germany. As described by the George Grosz scholar Hans Hess: “During 1918…the subject which occupied Grosz most was the slayer of woman—at least three different versions were painted. The Hamburg picture is a coherent and wholly original composition which marks Grosz as a master of twentieth-century painting. He shares with Chagall a deliberate, naïve sophistication, a dream-like floating recollection. But there the similarity ends, though the bouquet of flowers is a touch of Chagall. Where ideal love floats through Chagall, in Grosz, fear, death and destruction have found their colours and shapes. A mechanical figurine quality is shared by the articulated victim and the propelled murderer. The deed is suspended between heaven and earth” (Hans Hess, op.cit., p. 74).  

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Ralph Jentsch.